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The paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus is known to be involved in the control of sympathetic outflow. Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to have a sympathoinhibitory effect in the PVN. The goal of the present study was to examine the influence of overexpression of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) within the PVN on renal sympathetic nerve discharge (RSND). Adenovirus vectors encoding either nNOS (Ad.nNOS) or beta-galactosidase (Ad.beta-Gal) were transfected into the PVN in vivo. Initially, the dose of adenovirus needed for infection was determined from in vitro infection of cultured fibroblasts. In Ad.nNOS-treated rats, the local expression of nNOS within the PVN was confirmed by histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons. There was a robust increase in staining of NADPH-diaphorase-positive cells in the PVN on the side injected with Ad.nNOS. The staining peaked at 3 days after injection of the virus. In alpha-chloralose- and urethane-anesthetized rats, microinjection of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a NO antagonist, into the PVN produced a dose-dependent increase in RSND, blood pressure, and heart rate. There was a potentiation of the increase in RSND, blood pressure, and heart rate due to L-NMMA in Ad.nNOS-injected rats compared with Ad.beta-Gal-injected rats. These results suggest that the endogenous NO-mediated effect in the PVN of Ad.nNOS-treated rats is more effective in suppressing RSND compared with Ad.beta-Gal-treated rats. These observations support the contention that an overexpression of nNOS within the PVN may be responsible for increased suppression of sympathetic outflow. This technique may be useful in pathological conditions know to have increased sympathetic outflow, such as hypertension or heart failure.

Original publication

DOI

10.1152/ajpheart.00503.2001

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

Publication Date

02/2002

Volume

282

Pages

H594 - H601

Keywords

Adenoviridae, Animals, Blood Pressure, Blotting, Western, Cells, Cultured, Fibroblasts, Gene Expression, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genetic Vectors, Heart Rate, Histocytochemistry, Kidney, Male, NADPH Dehydrogenase, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I, Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Sympathetic Nervous System