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

Blockade of brain 'ouabain' prevents the impairment of baroreflexes in rats after myocardial infarction.

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to test whether increased brain "ouabain" contributes to impairment of both arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreceptor reflexes in congestive heart failure (CHF). METHODS AND RESULTS: Two to 5 days after coronary artery ligation (MI) or sham surgery in male Wistar rats, chronic intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion was started with either antibody Fab fragments, which bind ouabain and related steroids with high affinity, or gamma-globulins as control (200 microg x 12 microL[-1] x d[-1] for both) with osmotic minipumps implanted subcutaneously. After 8 weeks of infusion, in conscious rats, mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), central venous pressure (CVP), and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) were recorded at rest and in response to ramp changes in blood pressure (BP) induced by intravenous phenylephrine and nitroprusside and to changes in CVP elicited by acute volume expansion with 5% dextrose. Compared with sham rats, in MI rats with ICV gamma-globulins, resting MAP was significantly lower and CVP increased, and both arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflex control of RSNA and HR were attenuated. ICV Fab fragments prevented the decrease in resting BP and largely prevented impairment of arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflex control of both RSNA and HR. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that increased brain ouabain plays a major role in the impairment of baroreflexes in rats with CHF after myocardial infarction.[1]


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