Loss of group ii metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling exacerbates hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Julia Chu Ning, Hsu, Shinichi, Sekizawa, Ryota, Tochinai, Masayoshi, Kuwahara

Life |

High blood pressure is a major risk factor of cerebro-cardiovascular outcomes. Blood pressure is partly regulated by the autonomic nervous system and its reflex functions; therefore, we hypothesized that pharmacological intervention in the brainstem that can regulate blood pressure could be a novel therapeutic strategy to control hypertension. We infused a group II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonist (LY341495, 0.40 μg/day), using a mini-osmotic pump, into the dorsal medulla oblongata in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), as this area is ad-jacent to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), of which the neurons are involved in baroreflex pathways with glutamatergic transmission. Blood pressure was recorded for conscious rats with the tail cuff method. A 6-week antagonist treatment from 6 to 12 weeks of age slightly but significantly increased systolic blood pressure by >30 mmHg, compared to that in SHRs without treatment. More-over, the effect continued even 3 weeks after the treatment ended, and concurred with an increase in blood catecholamine concentration. However, heart rate variability analysis revealed that LY341495 treatment had little effect on autonomic activity. Meanwhile, mRNA expression level of mGluR subtype 2, but not subtype 3 in the brainstem was significantly enhanced by the antagonist treatment in SHRs, possibly compensating the lack of mGluR signaling. In conclusion, mGluR2 signaling in the dorsal brainstem is crucial for preventing the worsening of hypertension over a rela-tively long period in SHRs, through a mechanism of catecholamine secretion. This may be a specific drug target for hypertension therapy.