Noradrenergic and neuropeptide Y mechanisms in guanethidine-sympathectomized rats

E. E. Benarroch, J. D. Schmelzer, K. K. Ward, D. K. Nelson, P. A. Low

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20 Scopus citations


The cardiovascular responses to sympathomimetic agents, the norepinephrine (NE) content in peripheral tissues, and the tissue content and cardiovascular effects of neuropeptide Y (NPY) were examined in anesthetized adult rats with guanethidine-induced sympathectomy (GuSx). We observed blunted pressor responses to tyramine, exaggerated pressor responses to phenylephrine, and markedly reduced NE contents in the atrium, femoral artery, superior cervical ganglion (SCG), and sciatic and vagus nerves. When tyramine responses were corrected for the NE content in the SCG, GuSx rats were similar to controls. A depletion of NPY levels in tissue resulted in an increased sensitivity to the pressor effects of intravenous NPY administration. GuSx, therefore, reproduces findings of postganglionic adrenergic failure in humans. Responses to the administration of sympathomimetic agents may reflect the degree of noradrenergic denervation. NPY may be a potential marker of chronic postganglionic sympathetic denervation in cardiovascular tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R371-R375
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 28-2
StatePublished - 1990


  • chemical sympathectomy
  • denervation supersensitivity
  • phenylephrine
  • tyramine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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