17beta-estradiol modulates baroreflex sensitivity ...



Title 17beta-estradiol modulates baroreflex sensitivity and autonomic tone of female rats
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, B. J. Connell
Journal Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System
Date 2000
Volume 80
Issue 3
Start page 148
End page 161
Abstract The following experiments examine the role of estrogen as a central modulator of autonomic tone and baroreflex sensitivity in the female rat. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized and then supplemented daily for 7 days with a fixed dose of estrogen (5 microg/kg; sc) to produce a stable level of estrogen similar to that present at proestrous (17 pg/ml). The rats were then anaesthetized with sodium thiobutabarbital (100 mg/kg) and instrumented to record blood pressure, heart rate and both vagal and renal efferent nerve activities. The sensitivity of the cardiac baroreflex was tested using intravenous injection of multiple doses of either phenylephrine hydrochloride or sodium nitroprusside. Estrogen-supplemented female rats exhibited a significantly enhanced BRS as compared to male rats from a previous study (0.78 vs. 0.5). Furthermore, bolus injection of estrogen (1x10(-2) mg/kg; iv) in estrogen-supplemented female rats produced a significant increase in vagal nerve activity and a significant decrease in renal nerve activity which together resulted in a further enhancement of the BRS (0.78 vs. 2.4). Injection of the selective estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182,780, into nucleus ambiguus and the intrathecal space of the spinal cord blocked the respective changes in parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve activities indicating that intravenously administered estrogen modulates baseline autonomic tone via the activation of central estrogen receptors.

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