We have recently reported that inbred Wistar-Kyoto rats which are highly reactive to stressful stimuli, have a much shorter mean life-span (21.5) compared to the less reactive Brown-Norway rats (31.0 +/- 4.5 months). In the present study we found a reduction in forebrain cholinergic neurotransmission indices in 24-month-old Wistar-Kyotos but not in Brown-Norways as compared to their respective young (3-month-old) counterparts. Also only in Wistar-Kyotos dopamine uptake was reduced in the aged striatum, but in the septum it remained unchanged in both strains. In Brown-Norways, age-related changes were observed only in choline acetyltransferase activity and only in brain regions known to contain mainly cholinergic nerve cell bodies. We conclude that at 24 months of age, reductions in brain cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission are more prominent in the highly stress-reactive and shorter-lived Wistar-Kyoto strain, and may be genetically determined.
The endothelins are a recently discovered family of potent contractile peptides produced by endothelial cells. These peptides have been suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension, myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock, and so on. The aim of our study was to compare the responses to endothelin-1 (ET-1) with those to L-noradrenaline (NA) in aortic rings from rats of different strains and ages. Thoracic aorta rings from spontaneously hypertensive (SHR), Wistar Kyoto (WKY), Brown Norway (BN) and spontaneously hyperlipemic (Yoshida, YOS) rats 2-4 (young), 6-8 (adult) and 20-25 (old) months old were used. There were no changes in the pD2 values for ET-1 and NA between WKY and SHR rats at the ages studied. The ET-1 and NA Emax in adult SHR rats was significantly lower than in the age-matched WKY animals. Old age reduced the ET-1 and NA Emax in both SHR and WKY rats abolishing the difference observed at 6-8 months in the same groups. The reactivity to ET-1 and NA of BN and YOS rats was modified only in young rats. In YOS strain aging did not modify the ET-1 and NA responses as the pD2 and Emax values remained unchanged. Our findings demonstrate that ET-1 is a more potent vasoconstrictor than NA and that this potency remains unchanged throughout the ages and the pathologies studied. In contrast, the pD2 of NA decreases with old age in SHR and WKY rats. We conclude that rat strain but not hypertension or hyperlipemia can modify the response to ET-1 or NA in old age. We suppose that this functional change may involve alterations in the responsiveness of vascular smooth muscle.
The orphan receptor APJ and its recently identified endogenous ligand, apelin, exhibit high levels of mRNA expression in the heart. However, the functional importance of apelin in the cardiovascular system is not known. In isolated perfused rat hearts, infusion of apelin (0.01 to 10 nmol/L) induced a dose-dependent positive inotropic effect (EC50: 33.1+/-1.5 pmol/L). Moreover, preload-induced increase in dP/dt(max) was significantly augmented (P
Wistar-Kyoto rats are reported to be very passive in the forced swimming test. In addition, they did not respond to acute administration of either desipramine or 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT). In the present experiment, it was studied whether or not they respond to acute and chronic administration of imipramine and the possible relationship to down-regulation of beta-adrenoceptors and 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors. Sprague-Dawley and Brown-Norway rats were included in the study as it has been previously demonstrated that the two strains respond to acute desipramine and 8-OH-DPAT administration. Whereas acute administration of imipramine (15 mg/kg, three times in a 24 h period) significantly increased struggling and reduced immobility in Sprague-Dawley and Brown Norway rats, Wistar-Kyoto rats failed to respond to the drug. After chronic treatment with imipramine (13 days plus the acute imipramine treatment at the end of the treatment period), the three strains showed a positive response that was always significantly greater than the response to acute administration, but which was much lower in Wistar-Kyoto than in the other two strains. Down-regulation of both beta-adrenoceptors and 5-HT2 receptors was observed 24 h after the forced swimming test in acutely and chronically imipramine-treated rats of the three strains, except that in Sprague-Dawley rats beta-adrenoceptors did not change after acute imipramine. No significant decrease in 5-HT1 binding sites was observed in any strain. Acute imipramine administration caused a similar anorexia in Wistar-Kyoto as in the other strains and at least the same level of down-regulation of beta-adrenoceptors and 5-HT2 receptors. In addition, serum imipramine levels on the day after the last drug administration were higher in Wistar-Kyoto than in the other two strains. All these data suggest that the subsensitivity to imipramine observed in Wistar-Kyoto rats: (i) can not be primarily explained by pharmacokinetic differences, and (ii) does not appear to be related to the monoaminergic systems. Wistar-Kyoto rats might be therefore not only a good animal model of depressive-like (passive) behavior, but also a model of resistance to antidepressants which could be used to investigate the neurobiological basis of such resistance, which is also observed in some depressed patients.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of quercetin-filled phosphatidylcholine liposomes (PCLs) on peroxynitrite (ONOO-)-induced cardiac arrhythmias. Experiments were done using different experimental models, including isolated rat papillary muscle, Langendorff perfused rat hearts, and anesthetized animals. Being exogenously applied in a concentration greater than 50 microM, ONOO- caused inhibition of isometric twitch amplitude in isolated papillary muscles and led to an appearance of arrhythmias. Decomposed ONOO- had no similar effects and reversibly increased twitch amplitude. Authentic nitric oxide (NO, 100 microM) did not produce arrhythmias and had no significant effect on twitch amplitude. Verapamil and ruthenium red were with-out effect on ONOO- -induced arrhythmias, whereas tetrodotoxin and nicorandil effectively prevented arrhythmias development. Ouabain increased the arrhythmogenic effect of ONOO-. ONOO- significantly decreased coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) and mean left-ventricular pressure (MLVP) in the Langendorff perfused rat heart and produced severe arrhythmias. Authentic nitric oxide (NO) decreased CPP and MLVP insignificantly and resulted in a low incidence of arrhythmias. The NO donor SIN-1 in doses greater than 50 microM led to the appearance of low-incidence arrhythmias in anesthetized rats. Intraventricular injection of ONOO- promotes the appearance of a high incidence of arrhythmias in anesthetized rats and decreased MLVP. PCLs filled with the antioxidant quercetin restored normal cardiac contractility in both isolated tissues and anesthetizes animals. In conclusion, we hypothesized that ONOO-, but not its decomposed products, can initiate membrane lipid peroxidation and damage the phospholipid environment of ionic channels in myocardial cell plasma membranes inducing abnormal cardiac action potentials, arrhythmogenesis, and contractile dysfunction. Quercetin-filled PCL provide reliable protection against peroxynitrite-induced myocardial injury in isolated cardiac tissues and anesthetized animals primarily as a result of the decomposition of endogenously formed ONOO-.
In the present work we studied the relationship between behaviour in the forced swimming test (FST), a test that presumably measures depressive-like behaviour in rodents, and central corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) concentration and binding in five strains of rats. The strains were: Brown-Norway (BN), Fisher (FIS) 344, Lewis (LEW), spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). The FST data corresponding to the pretest showed significant inter-strain differences in both struggling and immobility: BN and WKY rats displayed lower levels of struggling and longer periods of immobility, LEW and SHR rats showed intermediate levels, and FIS rats were the most active. The results of the pretest were roughly similar to those observed in the test, the activity of WKY being extremely low. The CRF binding revealed significant inter-strain differences in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, but not in cerebellum, pons-medulla or hypothalamus: in the prefrontal cortex, BN and FIS rats showed greater CRF binding than LEW, SHR and WKY rats; in the hippocampus BN rats showed higher levels of CRF binding than the other strains. The study of CRF content in various brain areas revealed inter-strain differences in prefrontal cortex and pons-medulla, but not in parietal-temporal cortex or in hypothalamus (CRF concentrations in the hippocampus were not detectable): CRF content in the prefrontal cortex was higher in BN than in the other strains, although the differences with FIS were not statistically significant; in the pons-medulla, FIS and LEW showed significantly higher CRF content than the other strains. From the present results it appears that BN and WKY rats were more prone to adopt passive strategies in the FST, but they did not show higher brain CRF immunoreactivity or down-regulation of CRF receptors. Hence, although there were inter-strains differences in all variables studied, no evidence for a relationship between the FST behaviour and central CRF activity was found.
To evaluate the mechanisms of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) gene expression, we determined the effect of acute cardiac overload (from 30 min to 4 h) on atrial and ventricular BNP mRNA levels in normal and hypertrophied myocardium. Arginine8 vasopressin (AVP; 0.05 microgram/kg.min) and l-phenylephrine (PHE; 20 micrograms/kg.min) were infused iv to increase cardiac workload in conscious spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. At the age of 10-22 months, during the established phase of ventricular hypertrophy, baseline BNP synthesis was increased in the hypertrophic ventricular cells of SHR, as reflected by about 2-fold (P
In this study our aims were to investigate the presence and source of catecholamines in pericardial fluid of normotensive, reserpine-treated and spontaneously hypertensive rats. We found that noradrenaline is the only detectable catecholamine present in rat pericardial fluid. The effect of reserpine 6, 12, and 214 h after pre-treatment with 5 mg kg(-1) (8.2 micromol kg(-1)) i.p. shows that the concentration of noradrenaline in pericardial fluid reflects the amount of noradrenaline released within the heart rather than the amount of noradrenaline in plasma. Using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) as a model for primary hypertension we could show that the level of pericardial noradrenaline is approximately threefold in the pericardial fluid of the SHRs when compared to respective values of age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), suggesting that there was an increased noradrenaline overflow in the hearts of the SHRs. In conclusion, determination of the noradrenaline concentration in the pericardial fluid might provide a new method for estimating the release of noradrenaline in the heart.
The experimental data of endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent responses of vascular smooth muscles of isolated preparations of the thoracic aorta of rats with experimental diabetes mellitus (streptozotocin-induced diabetes) and a control group of animals are presented in the article. It has been shown that at diabetes mellitus endothelium-dependent vasodilation was deteriorated to the most extent. It resulted from dysfunction of the endothelium due to a reduce in the synthesis of NO. This conclusion was based on the data of the parameters of the contents of steady metabolites of nitric oxide (NO2- and NO3-), as well as activities of inducible and constitutive NO-synthases (iNOS and cNOS) in heart, aorta, erythrocytes and blood plasma in diabetic and control animals.
OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of long-term treatment with the type 1 angiotensin (AT1) receptor antagonist losartan and the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor enalapril, on cardiac adrenomedullin (ADM), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) gene expression. METHODS: Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were given losartan (15 mg/kg per day) or enalapril (4 mg/kg per day) orally for 10 weeks. The effects of drugs on systolic blood pressure, cardiac hypertrophy, ANP, BNP and ADM mRNA and immunoreactive-ANP (IR)-ANP, IR-BNP and IR-ADM levels in the left ventricle and atria were compared. RESULTS: Losartan and enalapril treatments completely inhibited the increase of systolic blood pressure occurring with ageing in SHR. The ratio of heart to body weight was reduced in both losartan- and enalapril-treated SHR and WKY rats. Treatment with losartan or enalapril reduced left ventricular ANP mRNA and IR-ANP in both strains, and ventricular BNP mRNA levels in SHR rats. Inhibition of ACE, AT1 receptor antagonism, changes in blood pressure or cardiac mass had no effect on left ventricular ADM gene expression in SHR and WKY rats. In addition, atrial IR-ANP and IR-ADM levels increased in SHR whereas IR-BNP levels decreased in WKY and SHR rats in response to drug treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that ventricular ADM synthesis is an insensitive marker of changes in haemodynamic load or cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, the expression of ADM, ANP and BNP genes is differently regulated both in the left ventricle and atria in response to AT1 receptor antagonism and ACE inhibition.