Area postrema ablation and vascular reactivity in deoxycorticosterone-salt-treated rats

Cathy A. Bruner, Michael L. Mangiapane, Gregory D. Fink, R. Clinton Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In rats, central administration of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine prevents hypertension and certain functional vascular changes after deoxycorticosterone (DOC)-salt treatment. In this study, the effect of electrolytic ablation of the area postrema on blood pressure and vascular reactivity in DOC-salt-treated rats was examined. Four treatment groups of rats were studied (n=5 in each): area postrema lesion, DOC-salt (DOC pivalate, 5 mg/wk s.c. for 5 weeks); sham lesion, DOC-salt; area postrema lesion, control; and sham lesion, control. Helically cut strips of carotid artery, aorta, and mesenteric artery were prepared for isometric force recording. Area postrema lesion attenuated hypertension in DOC-salt rats (mean arterial pressure, 107 vs 123 mm Hg in area postrema lesion and sham lesion rats, respectively; chronic aortic catheter). Vascular strips from sham lesion-DOC-salt rats were more sensitive to KC1, ouabain, and serotonin than were those from sham lesioncontrol rats. These changes in vascular reactivity also were observed in area postrema lesion-DOCsalt rats. DOC treatment in rats on a normal sodium intake did not result in hypertension or increased vascular reactivity. In summary, integrity of the area postrema is necessary for hypertension, but not for changes in vascular reactivity, in DOC-salt rats. It appears that 1) changes in vascular reactivity may be necessary, but they are not sufficient to produce DOC-salt hypertension, and 2) if these vascular changes are secondary to a central nervous system effect, they are mediated by a pathway distinct from the area postrema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-673
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • Aorta
  • Arterial pressure
  • Carotid artery
  • Hypertension
  • Mesenteric artery
  • Ouabain
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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