There is extensive evidence that activation of the immune system is both necessary and required for the development of angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension in males. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sex differences exist in the ability of the adaptive immune system to induce Ang II-dependent hypertension and whether central and renal T-cell infiltration during Ang II-induced hypertension is sex dependent. Recombinant activating gene-1 (Rag-1)(-/-) mice, lacking both T and B cells, were used. Male and female Rag-1(-/-) mice received adoptive transfer of male CD3(+) T cells 3 weeks before 14-day Ang II infusion (490 ng/kg per minute). Blood pressure was monitored via tail cuff. In the absence of T cells, systolic blood pressure responses to Ang II were similar between sexes (Δ22.1 mm Hg males versus Δ18 mm : Hg females). After adoptive transfer of male T cells, Ang II significantly increased systolic blood pressure in males (Δ37.7 mm : Hg; P
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) in the medulla oblongata have been suggested to be involved in the regulation of autonomic function. The aim of the present study was to examine the localization and expression of four types of mGluRs: mGluRla, mGluR2/3, mGluR5, and mGluR7 in the dorsal and ventral autonomic nuclei of the medulla of the rat. The four mGluR subtypes studied were differentially distributed in distinct subnuclei in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). mGluRla immunoreactivity was identified in cell bodies, dendrites, and axonal processes in the intermediate, dorsal lateral, and interstitial subnuclei of the NTS. No mGluRla immunoreactivity was observed in the commissural or medial NTS subnuclei. Immunoreactivity for mGluR2/3 and mGluR5 as observed in fibers and putative axonal processes in the interstitial, intermediate, and dorsolateral subnuclei of the NTS. In contrast, mGluR7 was expressed primarily in fibers and terminals in the central and commissural NTS subnuclei. Expression of mGluR2/3 was clearly evident in cell bodies, dendrites, and axonal processes within the area postrema. The vagal outflow nuclei were also studied. The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMN) contained mGluRla cell bodies, dendrites, and axonal fibers and light mGluR2/3 processes. Throughout the rostral-caudal extent of the compact and semicompact formation nucleus ambiguus, mGluRla was found in cell bodies and fibers. Within the caudal and rostral regions of the ventral lateral medulla, mGluRla was observed in cell bodies and fibers. Cell bodies containing mGluRla were found adjacent to cells staining positive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in these regions but were not colocalized with the TH staining. However, mGluRla-expressing neurons in the ventral lateral medulla did appear to receive innervation from TH-containing fibers. These results suggest that the mGluRla-expressing neurons within the ventral lateral medulla are predominantly not catecholaminergic but may be innervated by catecholamine-containing fibers. These data are the first to provide a mapping of the different mGluR subtypes within the medulla and may facilitate predictions regarding the function of L-glutamate neurotransmission in these regions.
Premenopausal women have lower blood pressure and a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease compared with age-matched men. Similar sex differences have been seen across species and in multiple animal models of hypertension. While important progress over the last decade has been made in elucidating some of the mechanisms underlying these differences, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for sex differences in hypertension will be important for developing sex-specific therapies targeted toward the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Female sex hormones, especially estrogen, have been demonstrated to modulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function through actions not only on the kidney, heart, and vasculature, but also on the central nervous system (CNS). This review primarily focuses on the central regulatory actions of estrogen on brain nuclei involved in blood pressure regulation and the interactions between estrogen and the RAAS in the CNS by which estrogen plays an important protective role against the development of hypertension.
Glutamate is the proposed neurotransmitter of baroreceptor afferents at the level of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Exogenous glutamate in the NTS activates neurons through ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). This study tested the hypothesis that group I mGluRs in the NTS produce depressor, bradycardic, and sympathoinhibitory responses. In urethan-anesthetized rats, unilateral 30-nl microinjections of the group I-selective mGluR agonist 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) into the NTS decreased mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and lumbar sympathetic nerve activity. The dose of drug that produced 50% of the maximal response (ED50) was 50-100 microM. The response to microinjection of equal concentrations of DHPG or the general mGluR agonist 1-aminocyclopentane-1S,3R-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD) produced similar cardiovascular effects. The cardiovascular response to injection of DHPG or ACPD was abolished by NTS blockade of mGluRs with alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG). Blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors with kynurenic acid did not attenuate the response to DHPG or ACPD injection. These data suggest that DHPG and ACPD activate mGluRs in the NTS and do not require ionotropic glutamate receptors to produce their cardiovascular response. In the NTS the group I mGluRs produce responses that are consistent with excitation of neurons involved in reducing sympathetic outflow, heart rate, and arterial pressure.