Impaired serotonergic regulation of heart rate may underlie reduced baroreflex sensitivity in an animal model of depression.
ABSTRACT Serotonin (5-HT) is crucial to normal reflex vagal modulation of heart rate (HR). Reduced baroreflex sensitivity [spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (sBRS)] and HR variability (HRV) reflect impaired neural, particularly vagal, control of HR and are independently associated with depression. In conscious, telemetered Flinders-Sensitive Line (FSL) rats, a well-validated animal model of depression, we tested the hypothesis that cardiovascular regulatory abnormalities are present and associated with deficient serotonergic control of reflex cardiovagal function. In FSL rats and control Flinders-Resistant (FRL) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat strains, diurnal measurements of HR, arterial pressure (AP), activity, sBRS, and HRV were made. All strains had normal and similar diurnal variations in HR, AP, and activity. In FRL rats, HR was elevated, contributing to the reduced HRV and sBRS in this strain. In FSL rats, sBRS and high-frequency power HRV were reduced during the night, indicating reduced reflex cardiovagal activity. The ratio of low- to high-frequency bands of HRV was increased in FSL rats, suggesting a relative predominance of cardiac sympathetic and/or reflex activity compared with FRL and SD rats. These data show that conscious FSL rats have cardiovascular regulatory abnormalities similar to depressed humans. Acute changes in HR, AP, temperature, and sBRS in response to 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin, a 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1B), and 5-HT(7) receptor agonist, were also determined. In FSL rats, despite inducing an exaggerated hypothermic effect, 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin did not decrease HR and AP or improve sBRS, suggesting impaired serotonergic neural control of cardiovagal activity. These data suggest that impaired serotonergic control of cardiac reflex function could be one mechanism linking reduced sBRS to increased cardiac risk in depression.
Article: Role of ionotropic GABA, glutamate and glycine receptors in the tonic and reflex control of cardiac vagal outflow in the rat.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cardiac vagal preganglionic neurons (CVPN) are responsible for the tonic, reflex and respiratory modulation of heart rate (HR). Although CVPN receive GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs, likely involved in respiratory and reflex modulation of HR respectively, little else is known regarding the functions controlled by ionotropic inputs. Activation of g-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) alters these inputs, but the functional consequence is largely unknown. The present study aimed to delineate how ionotropic GABAergic, glycinergic and glutamatergic inputs contribute to the tonic and reflex control of HR and in particular determine which receptor subtypes were involved. Furthermore, we wished to establish how activation of the 5-HT1A GPCR affects tonic and reflex control of HR and what ionotropic interactions this might involve. Microinjection of the GABAA antagonist picrotoxin into CVPN decreased HR but did not affect baroreflex bradycardia. The glycine antagonist strychnine did not alter HR or baroreflex bradycardia. Combined microinjection of the NMDA antagonist, MK801, and AMPA antagonist, CNQX, into CVPN evoked a small bradycardia and abolished baroreflex bradycardia. MK801 attenuated whereas CNQX abolished baroreceptor bradycardia. Control intravenous injections of the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT evoked a small bradycardia and potentiated baroreflex bradycardia. These effects were still observed following microinjection of picrotoxin but not strychnine into CVPN. We conclude that activation of GABAA receptors set the level of HR whereas AMPA to a greater extent than NMDA receptors elicit baroreflex changes in HR. Furthermore, activation of 5-HT1A receptors evokes bradycardia and enhances baroreflex changes in HR due to interactions with glycinergic neurons involving strychnine receptors. This study provides reference for future studies investigating how diseases alter neurochemical inputs to CVPN.BMC Neuroscience 10/2010; 11:128. · 3.04 Impact Factor
Article: Strategies and methods to study sex differences in cardiovascular structure and function: a guide for basic scientists.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of death worldwide. In the US, deaths due to cardiovascular disease for women exceed those of men. While cultural and psychosocial factors such as education, economic status, marital status and access to healthcare contribute to sex differences in adverse outcomes, physiological and molecular bases of differences between women and men that contribute to development of cardiovascular disease and response to therapy remain underexplored. This article describes concepts, methods and procedures to assist in the design of animal and tissue/cell based studies of sex differences in cardiovascular structure, function and models of disease. To address knowledge gaps, study designs must incorporate appropriate experimental material including species/strain characteristics, sex and hormonal status. Determining whether a sex difference exists in a trait must take into account the reproductive status and history of the animal including those used for tissue (cell) harvest, such as the presence of gonadal steroids at the time of testing, during development or number of pregnancies. When selecting the type of experimental animal, additional consideration should be given to diet requirements (soy or plant based influencing consumption of phytoestrogen), lifespan, frequency of estrous cycle in females, and ability to investigate developmental or environmental components of disease modulation. Stress imposed by disruption of sleep/wake cycles, patterns of social interaction (or degree of social isolation), or handling may influence adrenal hormones that interact with pathways activated by the sex steroid hormones. Care must be given to selection of hormonal treatment and route of administration. Accounting for sex in the design and interpretation of studies including pharmacological effects of drugs is essential to increase the foundation of basic knowledge upon which to build translational approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases in humans.Biology of sex differences. 12/2011; 2:14.