Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Impaired central mediation of the arterial baroreflex in chronic renal hypertension

G. B. Guo, F. M. Abboud


After 6 wk of renal hypertension in rabbits, the arterial baroreflex control of heart rate (HR) is impaired but the baroreflex control of lumbar sympathetic nerve activity ( LSNA ) is preserved. This selective impairment may reflect a predominant abnormality in the baroreceptors. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that renal hypertension of longer duration may impair baroreflex control of LSNA through a defect in the central nervous system mediation of the reflex. Four months after induction of renal hypertension, baroreflex responses were determined during increases in arterial pressure with intravenous phenylephrine or decreases in pressure with vena caval occlusion under chloralose-urethan anesthesia. Reflex control of LSNA and HR was impaired markedly in hypertensive rabbits. Reflex inhibition of LSNA and HR in response to afferent electrical stimulation of the left aortic depressor nerve (all arterial baroreceptor afferents cut) was attenuated in hypertensive in contrast to normotensive rabbits. This attenuation was noted when the medullated fibers only were stimulated or when both medullated and nonmedullated fibers were stimulated. We conclude that baroreflex control of LSNA that is preserved after 6 wk of hypertension is impaired after 4 mo of hypertension. The impairment reflects an abnormality in the central nervous system mediation of the reflex.