Adult rats exposed to maternal separation (MatSep) are normotensive but display lower glomerular filtration rate and increased renal neuroadrenergic drive. The aim of this study was to determine the renal α-adrenergic receptor density and the renal vascular responsiveness to adrenergic stimulation in male rats exposed to MatSep. In addition, baroreflex sensitivity was assessed to determine a component of neural control of the vasculature. Using tissue collected from 4-mo-old MatSep and control rats, α1-adrenergic receptors (α1-ARs) were measured in renal cortex and isolated renal vasculature using receptor binding assay, and the α-AR subtype gene expression was determined by RT-PCR. Renal cortical α1-AR density was similar between MatSep and control tissues (Bmax ± 44 ± 1 vs. 42 ± 2 fmol/mg protein, respectively); however, MatSep reduced α1-AR density in renal vasculature (Bmax ± 47 ± 4 vs. 62 ± 4 fmol/mg protein, P < 0.05, respectively). In a separate group of rats, the pressor, bradycardic, and renal vascular constrictor responses to acute norepinephrine injection (NE, 0.03–0.25 μg/μl) were determined under anesthesia. Attenuated NE-induced renal vasoconstriction was observed in rats exposed to MatSep compared with control (P < 0.05). A third group of rats was infused at steady state with the α1 agonist phenylephrine (10 μg/min iv) and vasodilator sodium nitroprusside (5 μg/min iv). The difference between the change in heart rate/mean arterial pressure slopes was indicative of reduced baroreflex sensitivity in MatSep vs. control rats (-0.45 ± 0.04 vs. -0.95 ± 0.07 beats·min-1·mmHg-1, P < 0.05). These data support the notion that reduced α-adrenergic receptor expression and function in the renal vasculature could develop secondary to MatSep-induced overactivation of the renal neuroadrenergic tone.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grant R00-HL-111354 to A. S. Loria.
© 2017 the American Physiological Society.
- Arterial baroreceptor-heart rate reflex
- Binding receptor assay
- Maternal separation
- α-adrenergic receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas