Estrogen blocks the cardiovascular and autonomic ...

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Title Estrogen blocks the cardiovascular and autonomic changes following vagal stimulation in ovariectomized rats
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, M. C. Saleh, B. J. Connell
Journal Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical
Date 2001
Volume 88
Issue 1-2
Start page 25
End page 35
Abstract The current investigation examines the effect of acute and chronic estrogen administration on baroreflex sensitivity and autonomic tone following 2 h of vagal afferent stimulation in ovariectomized female rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized and supplemented daily for 7 days with either estrogen (OVX-E2; 0.5 microg/kg; s.c.) or saline (OVX-S; 0.9%; s.c.). On the 8th day the animals were anaesthetized (sodium thiobutabarbitol; 100 mg/kg) and instrumented for recording blood pressure, heart rate and efferent vagal and renal nerve activities. The baroreflex was evoked using intravenous injection of various doses of phenylephrine hydrochloride (0.025, 0.05+/-0.1 mg/kg). Electrical stimulation of vagal afferents for 2 h produces autonomic imbalance characterized by sympathoexcitation and parasympathetic withdrawal. This protocol of vagal stimulation produced a significant increase in renal nerve activity (from 20+/-6 to 140+/-20 spikes/2 s) and decreases in both vagal nerve activity (from 22+/-3 to 10+/-2 spikes/2 s) and baroreflex sensitivity (from 0.55+/-0.05 to 0.3+/-0.05) in OVX-S female rats. However. vagal stimulation had no effect on baroreflex sensitivity or autonomic nerve activities in OVX-E2 rats. Administration of a single, bolus dose of estrogen (1 x 10(-2) mg/kg) to OVX-S rats immediately prior to termination of vagal stimulation blocked the changes in autonomic nerve activities and baroreflex sensitivity previously observed. These results suggest that both chronic and acute estrogen supplementation may provide resistance to the autonomic disturbances associated with visceral afferent activation.

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