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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered cerebral vessel innervation in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.

Autonomic innervation in the cerebral arterial walls of adult male spontaneously hypertensive rats and of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats was studied. When examined by fluorescence microscopy, dense catecholamine fluorescence was observed in anterior cerebral and middle cerebral arteries of both Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats. However, vertebral and basilar arteries and small pial arteries of Wistar-Kyoto rats received extremely sparse or no catecholamine fluorescence, whereas, in the respective regions of spontaneously hypertensive rats, catecholamine fluorescence was found to be significantly elevated. The endogenous norepinephrine content was also higher in cerebral arteries of spontaneously hypertensive than of Wistar-Kyoto rats. When examined ultrastructurally (potassium permanganate fixation), the incidence of granular vesicle-containing nerves, indicative of sympathetic nerves, was found to be significantly elevated in all cerebral arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats examined. In contrast, the agranular vesicle-containing nerve, indicative of nonsympathetic nerves, with close synaptic cleft distance (less than 2 micron) was found to decrease or remain unchanged in the cerebral arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats. These results suggest that cerebral sympathetic vasoconstriction may become more prominent than nonsympathetic vasodilation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. This finding lends further credence to the previous in vivo findings that cerebral sympathetic vasoconstrictor nerves become more functional and exhibit a protective effect against brain lesions during hypertension. The potential roles of neurogenic components involved in cerebral blood flow autoregulation are also discussed.[1]


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