Sympathetic activation in rats with L-NAME-induced hypertension

V. C. Biancardi, C. T. Bergamaschi, O. U. Lopes, R. R. Campos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We evaluated the hemodynamic pattern and the contribution of the sympathetic nervous system in conscious and anesthetized (1.4 g/kg urethane, iv) Wistar rats with L-NAME-induced hypertension (20 mg/kg daily). The basal hemodynamic profile was similar for hypertensive animals, conscious (N = 12) or anesthetized (N = 12) treated with L-NAME for 2 or 7 days: increase of total peripheral resistance associated with a decrease of cardiac output (CO) compared to normotensive animals, conscious (N = 14) or anesthetized (N = 14). Sympathetic blockade with hexamethonium essentially caused a decrease in total peripheral resistance in hypertensive animals (conscious, 2 days: from (means ± SEM) 2.47 ± 0.08 to 2.14 ± 0.07; conscious, 7 days: from 2.85 ± 0.13 to 2.07 ± 0.33; anesthetized, 2 days: from 3.00 ± 0.09 to 1.83 ± 0.25 and anesthetized, 7 days: from 3.56 ± 0.11 to 1.53 ± 0.10 mmHg mL-1 min-1) with no change in CO in either group. However, in the normotensive group a fall in CO (conscious: from 125 ± 4.5 to 96 ± 4; anesthetized: from 118 ± 1.5 to 104 ± 5.5 mL /min) was observed. The responses after hexamethonium were more prominent in the hypertensive anesthetized group. However, no difference was observed between conscious and anesthetized normotensive rats in response to sympathetic blockade. The present study shows that the vasoconstriction in response to L-NAME was mediated by the sympathetic drive. The sympathetic tone plays an important role in the initiation and maintenance of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • L-NAME hypertension
  • Nitric oxide synthase blockade
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Total peripheral resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cell Biology


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