The calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA) has emerged as a major cause of secondary hypertension in humans, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms have remained enigmatic. Synapsins are a family of synaptic vesicle phosphoproteins that are essential for normal regulation of neurotransmitter release at synapses. In addition to synaptic vesicles, synapsins and other vesicle proteins are found on microvesicles in sensory nerve endings in peripheral tissues. However, the functions of the sensory microvesicles in general, and of synapsins in particular, are unknown. We now demonstrate in a mouse model that CsA raises blood pressure by stimulating renal sensory nerve endings that contain synapsin-positive microvesicles. In knockout mice lacking synapsin I and II, sensory nerve endings are normally developed but not stimulated by CsA whereas a control stimulus, capsaicin, is fully active. The reflex activation of efferent sympathetic nerve activity and the increase in blood pressure by CsA seen in control are greatly attenuated in synapsin-deficient mice. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for CsA-induced acute hypertension and suggest that synapsins could serve as a drug target in this refractory condition. Furthermore, these data establish evidence that synapsin-containing sensory microvesicles perform an essential role in sensory transduction and suggest a role for synapsin phosphorylation in this process.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 15 2000|
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