(1/6648) Effects of amlodipine on sympathetic nerve traffic and baroreflex control of circulation in heart failure.

Short-acting calcium antagonists exert a sympathoexcitation that in heart failure further enhances an already elevated sympathetic activity. Whether this is also the case for long-acting formulations is not yet established, despite the prognostic importance of sympathetic activation in heart failure. It is also undetermined whether in this condition long-acting calcium antagonists favorably affect a mechanism potentially responsible for the sympathetic activation, ie, the baroreflex impairment. In 28 heart failure patients (NYHA functional class II) under conventional treatment we measured plasma norepinephrine and efferent postganglionic muscle sympathetic nerve activity (microneurography) at rest and during arterial baroreceptor stimulation and deactivation induced by stepwise intravenous infusions of phenylephrine and nitroprusside, respectively. Measurements were performed at baseline and after 8 weeks of daily oral amlodipine administration (10 mg/d, 14 patients) or before and after an 8-week period without calcium antagonist administration (14 patients). Amlodipine caused a small and insignificant blood pressure reduction. Heart rate, left ventricular ejection fraction, and plasma renin and aldosterone concentrations were not affected. This was the case also for plasma norepinephrine (from 2.43+/-0.41 to 2.50+/-0.34 nmol/L, mean+/-SEM), muscle sympathetic nerve activity (from 54.4+/-5.9 to 51.0+/-4.3 bursts/min), and arterial baroreflex responses. No change in the above-mentioned variables was seen in the control group. Thus, in mild heart failure amlodipine treatment does not adversely affect sympathetic activity and baroreflex control of the heart and sympathetic tone. This implies that in this condition long-acting calcium antagonists can be administered without untoward neurohumoral effects anytime conventional treatment needs to be complemented by drugs causing additional vasodilatation.  (+info)

(2/6648) Irbesartan reduces QT dispersion in hypertensive individuals.

Angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonists have direct effects on the autonomic nervous system and myocardium. Because of this, we hypothesized that irbesartan would reduce QT dispersion to a greater degree than amlodipine, a highly selective vasodilator. To test this, we gathered electrocardiographic (ECG) data from a multinational, multicenter, randomized, double-blind parallel group study that compared the antihypertensive efficacy of irbesartan and amlodipine in elderly subjects with mild to moderate hypertension. Subjects were treated for 6 months with either drug. Hydrochlorothiazide and atenolol were added after 12 weeks if blood pressure (BP) remained uncontrolled. ECGs were obtained before randomization and at 6 months. A total of 188 subjects (118 with baseline ECGs) were randomized. We analyzed 104 subjects who had complete ECGs at baseline and after 6 months of treatment. Baseline characteristics between treatments were similar, apart from a slight imbalance in diastolic BP (irbesartan [n=53] versus amlodipine [n=51], 99.2 [SD 3. 6] versus 100.8 [3.8] mm Hg; P=0.03). There were no significant differences in BP normalization (diastolic BP <90 mm Hg) between treatments at 6 months (irbesartan versus amlodipine, 80% versus 88%; P=0.378). We found a significant reduction in QT indexes in the irbesartan group (QTc dispersion mean, -11.4 [34.5] milliseconds, P=0.02; QTc max, -12.8 [35.5] milliseconds, P=0.01), and QTc dispersion did not correlate with the change in BP. The reduction in QT indexes with amlodipine (QTc dispersion, -9.7 [35.4] milliseconds, P=0.06; QTc max, -8.6 [33.2] milliseconds, P=0.07) did not quite reach statistical significance, but there was a correlation between the change in QT indexes and changes in systolic BP. In conclusion, irbesartan improved QT dispersion, and this effect may be important in preventing sudden cardiac death in at-risk hypertensive subjects.  (+info)

(3/6648) Late referral of end-stage renal failure.

We studied all new patients accepted for renal replacement therapy (RRT) in one unit from 1/1/96 to 31/12/97 (n = 198), to establish time from nephrology referral to RRT, evidence of renal disease prior to referral and the adequacy of renal management prior to referral. Sixty four (32.3%, late referral group) required RRT within 12 weeks of referral. Fifty-nine (29.8%) had recognizable signs of chronic renal failure > 26 weeks prior to referral. Patients starting RRT soon after referral were hospitalized for significantly longer on starting RRT (RRT within 12 weeks of referral, median hospitalization 25.0 days (n = 64); RRT > 12 weeks after referral, median 9.7 days (n = 126), (p < 0.001)). Observed survival at 1 year was 68.3% overall, with 1-year survival of the late referral and early referral groups being 60.5% and 72.5%, respectively (p = NS). Hypertension was found in 159 patients (80.3%): 46 (28.9%) were started on antihypertensive medication following referral, while a further 28 (17.6%) were started on additional antihypertensives. Of the diabetic population (n = 78), only 26 (33.3%) were on an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) at referral. Many patients are referred late for dialysis despite early signs of renal failure, and the pre-referral management of many of the patients, as evidenced by the treatment of hypertension and use of ACEI in diabetics, is less than optimal.  (+info)

(4/6648) PST 2238: A new antihypertensive compound that modulates Na,K-ATPase in genetic hypertension.

A genetic alteration in the adducin genes is associated with hypertension and up-regulation of the expression of renal Na, K-ATPase in Milan-hypertensive (MHS) rats, in which increased ouabain-like factor (OLF) levels are also observed. PST 2238, a new antihypertensive compound that antagonizes the pressor effect of ouabain in vivo and normalizes ouabain-dependent up-regulation of the renal Na-K pump, was evaluated for its ability to lower blood pressure and regulate renal Na,K-ATPase activity in MHS genetic hypertension. In this study, we show that PST 2238, given orally at very low doses (1 and 10 microg/kg for 5-6 weeks), reduced the development of hypertension in MHS rats and normalized the increased renal Na,K-ATPase activity and mRNA levels, whereas it did not affect either blood pressure or Na,K-ATPase in Milan-normotensive (MNS) rats. In addition, a similar antihypertensive effect was observed in adult MHS rats after a short-term treatment. In cultured rat renal cells with increased Na-K pump activity at Vmax due to overexpression of the hypertensive variant of adducin, 5 days of incubation with PST 2238 (10(-10-)-10(-9) M) lowered the pump rate to the level of normal wild-type cells, which in turn were not affected by the drug. In conclusion, PST 2238 is a very potent compound that in MHS rats reduces blood pressure and normalizes Na-K pump alterations caused by a genetic alteration of the cytoskeletal adducin. Because adducin gene mutations have been associated with human essential hypertension, it is suggested that PST 2238 may display greater antihypertensive activity in those patients carrying such a genetic alteration.  (+info)

(5/6648) Blocking angiotensin II ameliorates proteinuria and glomerular lesions in progressive mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis.

BACKGROUND: The renin-angiotensin system is thought to be involved in the progression of glomerulonephritis (GN) into end-stage renal failure (ESRF) because of the observed renoprotective effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs). However, ACEIs have pharmacological effects other than ACE inhibition that may help lower blood pressure and preserve glomerular structure. We previously reported a new animal model of progressive glomerulosclerosis induced by a single intravenous injection of an anti-Thy-1 monoclonal antibody, MoAb 1-22-3, in uninephrectomized rats. Using this new model of progressive GN, we examined the hypothesis that ACEIs prevent the progression to ESRF by modulating the effects of angiotensin II (Ang II) on the production of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and extracellular matrix components. METHODS: We studied the effect of an ACEI (cilazapril) and an Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist (candesartan) on the clinical features and morphological lesions in the rat model previously reported. After 10 weeks of treatment with equihypotensive doses of cilazapril, cilazapril plus Hoe 140 (a bradykinin receptor B2 antagonist), candesartan, and hydralazine, we examined systolic blood pressure, urinary protein excretion, creatinine clearance, the glomerulosclerosis index, and the tubulointerstitial lesion index. We performed a semiquantitative evaluation of glomerular immunostaining for TGF-beta and collagen types I and III by immunofluorescence study and of these cortical mRNA levels by Northern blot analysis. RESULTS: Untreated rats developed massive proteinuria, renal dysfunction, and severe glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury, whereas uninephrectomized control rats did not. There was a significant increase in the levels of glomerular protein and cortical mRNA for TGF-beta and collagen types I and III in untreated rats. Cilazapril and candesartan prevented massive proteinuria, increased creatinine clearance, and ameliorated glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury. These drugs also reduced levels of glomerular protein and cortical mRNA for TGF-beta and collagen types I and III. Hoe 140 failed to blunt the renoprotective effect of cilazapril. Hydralazine did not exhibit a renoprotective effect. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that ACEIs prevent the progression to ESRF by modulating the effects of Ang II via Ang II type 1 receptor on the production of TGF-beta and collagen types I and III, as well as on intrarenal hemodynamics, but not by either increasing bradykinin activity or reducing blood pressure in this rat model of mesangial proliferative GN.  (+info)

(6/6648) Trigeminal and carotid body inputs controlling vascular resistance in muscle during post-contraction hyperaemia in cats.

1. In anaesthetized cats, the effects of stimulation of the receptors in the nasal mucosa and carotid body chemoreceptors on vascular resistance in hindlimb skeletal muscle were studied to see whether the responses were the same in active as in resting muscle. The measurements of vascular resistance were taken, first, in resting muscle, and second, in the immediate post-contraction hyperaemic phase that followed a 30 s period of isometric contractions. 2. Stimulation of the receptors in the nasal mucosa caused reflex apnoea and vasoconstriction in muscle. The latter response was attenuated when the test was repeated during post-contraction hyperaemia. 3. Stimulations of the carotid bodies were made during a period of apnoea evoked reflexly by electrical stimulation of both superior laryngeal nerves. This apnoea prevented any effects of changes in respiration on the carotid body reflex vascular responses. Stimulation of the carotid bodies evoked hindlimb muscle vasoconstriction. In the post-contraction hyperaemic period, the response was reduced or abolished. A similar attenuation of the reflex vasoconstrictor responses occurred in decentralized muscles stimulated through their motor roots in the cauda equina. 4. Evidence is presented that the attenuation of the vasoconstrictor responses evoked by the two reflexes is a phenomenon localized to the contracting muscles themselves resulting from an interaction between sympathetic neuronal activity and the local production of metabolites. 5. The results are discussed in relation to the metabolic needs of tissues in relation to asphyxial defence mechanisms such as occur in the diving response.  (+info)

(7/6648) Inhibition of endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization by endothelial prostanoids in guinea-pig coronary artery.

1. In smooth muscle of the circumflex coronary artery of guinea-pig, acetylcholine (ACh, 10(-6) M) produced an endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization consisting of two components. An initial component that occurs in the presence of ACh and a slow component that developed after ACh had been withdrawn. Each component of the hyperpolarization was accompanied by an increase in membrane conductance. 2. Indomethacin (5 x 10(-6) M) or diclofenac (10(-6) M), both inhibitors of cyclooxygenase, abolished only the slow hyperpolarization. The initial hyperpolarization was not inhibited by diclofenac nor by nitroarginine, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. 3. Both components of the ACh-induced hyperpolarization were abolished in the presence of atropine (10(-6) M) or high-K solution ([K+]0 = 29.4 mM). 4. The interval between ACh-stimulation required to generate an initial hyperpolarization of reproducible amplitude was 20 min or greater, but it was reduced to less than 5 min after inhibiting cyclooxygenase activity. Conditioning stimulation of the artery with substance P (10(-7) M) also caused a long duration (about 20 min) inhibition of the ACh-response. 5. The amplitude of the hyperpolarization generated by Y-26763, a K+-channel opener, was reproducible within 10 min after withdrawal of ACh. 6. Exogenously applied prostacyclin (PGI2) hyperpolarized the membrane and reduced membrane resistance in concentrations over 2.8 x 10(-9)M. 7. At concentrations below threshold for hyperpolarization and when no alteration of membrane resistance occurred, PGI2 inhibited the initial component of the ACh-induced hyperpolarization. 8. It is concluded that endothelial prostanoids, possibly PGI2, have an inhibitory action on the release of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor.  (+info)

(8/6648) Nitric oxide limits the eicosanoid-dependent bronchoconstriction and hypotension induced by endothelin-1 in the guinea-pig.

1. This study attempts to investigate if endogenous nitric oxide (NO) can modulate the eicosanoid-releasing properties of intravenously administered endothelin-1 (ET-1) in the pulmonary and circulatory systems in the guinea-pig. 2. The nitric oxide synthase blocker N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 300 microM; 30 min infusion) potentiated, in an L-arginine sensitive fashion, the release of thromboxane A2 (TxA2) stimulated by ET-1, the selective ET(B) receptor agonist IRL 1620 (Suc-[Glu9,Ala11,15]-ET-1(8-21)) or bradykinin (BK) (5, 50 and 50 nM, respectively, 3 min infusion) in guinea-pig isolated and perfused lungs. 3. In anaesthetized and ventilated guinea-pigs intravenous injection of ET-1 (0.1-1.0 nmol kg(-1)), IRL 1620 (0.2-1.6 nmol kg(-1)), BK (1.0-10.0 nmol kg(-1)) or U 46619 (0.2-5.7 nmol kg(-1)) each induced dose-dependent increases in pulmonary insufflation pressure (PIP). Pretreatment with L-NAME (5 mg kg(-1)) did not change basal PIP, but increased, in L-arginine sensitive manner, the magnitude of the PIP increases (in both amplitude and duration) triggered by each of the peptides (at 0.25, 0.4 and 1.0 nmol kg(-1), respectively), without modifying bronchoconstriction caused by U 46619 (0.57 nmol kg(-1)). 4. The increases in PIP induced by ET-1, IRL 1620 (0.25 and 0.4 nmol kg(-1), respectively) or U 46619 (0.57 nmol kg(-1)) were accompanied by rapid and transient increases of mean arterial blood pressure (MAP). Pretreatment with L-NAME (5 mg kg(-1); i.v. raised basal MAP persistently and, under this condition, subsequent administration of ET-1 or IRL 1620, but not of U-46619, induced hypotensive responses which were prevented by pretreatment with the cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. 5. Thus, endogenous NO appears to modulate ET-1-induced bronchoconstriction and pressor effects in the guinea-pig by limiting the peptide's ability to induce, possibly via ET(B) receptors, the release of TxA2 in the lungs and of vasodilatory prostanoids in the systemic circulation. Furthermore, it would seem that these eicosanoid-dependent actions of ET-1 in the pulmonary system and on systemic arterial resistance in this species are physiologically dissociated.  (+info)