Adrenal α2-adrenergic receptors in the aging normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rat
This study investigates α(2)-adrenergic receptor (α(2)AR) mediated feedback inhibition of catecholamine release from the adrenal medulla of adult (52 weeks) and old (98 weeks) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive controls Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. Adrenal epinephrine content as well as the spontaneous and the nicotinic-evoked release of epinephrine were similar between adult SHR and WKY rats. Aging produced a significant reduction in epinephrine synthesis in WKY rats. In contrast, in SHR aging produced a significant increase in epinephrine release without significant changes in epinephrine synthesis. The α(2)AR agonist medetomidine abolished (80-90% inhibition) the nicotinic-evoked release of epinephrine in adult SHR and WKY rats. With aging, this effect was unaltered in WKY rats but was significantly decreased in SHR (30% inhibition). Adrenal α(2A)AR mRNA levels were significantly reduced in old SHR compared with age matched WKY rats. In conclusion, in aging the α(2)AR mediated feedback inhibition of epinephrine release from the adrenal medulla is preserved in WKY rats but compromised in SHR, resulting in increased epinephrine release.
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