Analysis of the α‐adrenoceptor‐mediated, and other, components in the sympathetic vasopressor responses of the pithed rat

N. A. Flavahan, T. L. Grant, J. Greig, J. C. McGrath

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30 Scopus citations


The vascular receptors activated following sympatho‐adrenal stimulation were determined by analysing the effects of ‘selective’ antagonists on the vasopressor response to spinal sympathetic nerve activation in the pithed rat. The net vascular response to adrenal stimulation was a balance between α‐adrenoceptor‐mediated vasoconstriction and β‐adrenoceptor‐mediated vasodepression. Part of the α‐adrenoceptor‐mediated response was ‘prazosin‐sensitive’ (α1) and the remainder was abolished by rauwolscine (α2). As with adrenal stimulation, direct sympathetic nerve stimulation of the vasculature evoked pressor responses which were partly resistant to prazosin. Rauwolscine only partly blocked the prazosin‐sensitive component. Reserpine pretreatment led to smaller responses than prazosin plus rauwolscine. Thus, the response resistant to α‐adrenoceptor antagonists could be mediated, in part, by adrenoceptors distinct from α‐adrenoceptors, as currently defined. α, β‐Methylene ATP reduced the nerve‐mediated pressor response after α‐adrenoceptor blockade or reserpine pretreatment but not in drug‐free controls. The results suggest that stimulation of the adrenal medulla can produce a vasopressor response which consists of summating α1 and α2‐adrenoceptor‐mediated components, and is identical to the effect of injected adrenaline. In contrast, the response to vasopressor nerve stimulation appears to be essentially mediated by α1‐adrenoceptors, with a facilitatory influence from α2‐adrenoceptors. A further response obtained after α‐adrenoceptor blockade may contain a purinergic component and another which is adrenergic but not mediated by stimulation of α‐adrenoceptors. 1985 British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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