In view of the severity of the hypertension in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (sp-SHR), myocardial beta-adrenergic receptors were investigated by the binding of (−)[3H]-dihydroalprenolol (DHA) to membranes from sp-SHR (9-week-old males, Okamoto-Aoki strain) and age-matched and sex-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Scatchard analysis showed no significant differences in binding parameters between sp-SHR and normal rats. Myocardial membranes from sp-SHR bound 31.8 ± 2.3 fmol DNA per mg protein with a dissociation constant of 3.8 ± 0.9 nm, whereas membranes from normal rats bound 33.4 ± 2.9 fmol DHA per mg protein with a dissociation constant of 3.9 ± 1.0 nm. However, mean arterial pressure and heart rate determined directly via aortic cannulae, while the rats were conscious and unrestrained, were significantly higher in sp-SHR. Plasma norepinephrine concentration was also significantly higher in sp-SHR. The finding that cardiac beta-adrenergic receptors are unchanged, despite evidence of increased sympathetic nerve activity, suggests that in the sp-SHR there may be a failure of catecholamine-induced “down regulation” of beta-adrenergic receptors. This defect could contribute to the increased cardiac drive in these animals and may thus explain the severity of the hypertension in this strain of spontaneously hypertensive rats.
- Spontaneously hypertensive
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine