Effect of intracerebroventricular benzamil on cardiovascular and central autonomic responses to DOCA-salt treatment

Joanna M. Abrams, William C. Engeland, John W. Osborn

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20 Scopus citations


DOCA-salt treatment increases mean arterial pressure (MAP), while central infusion of benzamil attenuates this effect. The present study used c-Fos immunoreactivity to assess the role of benzamil-sensitive proteins in the brain on neural activity following chronic DOCA-salt treatment. Uninephrectomized rats were instrumented with telemetry transmitters for measurement of MAP and with an intracerebroventricular (ICV) cannula for benzamil administration. Groups included rats receiving DOCA-salt treatment alone, rats receiving DOCA-salt treatment with ICV benzamil, and appropriate controls. At study completion, MAP in vehicle-treated DOCA-salt rats reached 142 ± 4 mmHg. In contrast DOCA-salt rats receiving ICV benzamil had lower MAP (124 ± 3 mmHg). MAP in normotensive controls was 102 ± 3 mmHg. c-Fos immunoreactivity was quantified in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) and across subnuclei of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), as well as other cardiovascular regulatory sites. Compared with vehicle-treated normotensive controls, c-Fos expression was increased in the SON and all subnuclei of the PVN, but not in other key autonomic nuclei, such as the rostroventrolateral medulla. Moreover, benzamil treatment decreased c-Fos immunoreactivity in the SON and in medial parvocellular and posterior magnocellular neurons of the PVN in DOCAsalt rats but not areas associated with regulation of sympathetic activity. Our results do not support the hypothesis that DOCA-salt increases neuronal activity (as indicated by c-Fos immunoreactivity) of other key regions that regulate sympathetic activity. These results suggest that ICV benzamil attenuates DOCA-salt hypertension by modulation of neuroendocrine-related PVN nuclei rather than inhibition of PVN sympathetic premotor neurons in the PVN and rostroventrolateral medulla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1500-R1510
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Hypertension
  • PVN
  • RVLM
  • SON
  • Sympathetic activity
  • Vasopressin


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