Sympathetic nerve activity: a link to stroke?
Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have been shown to have an increased capacity for superior cervical sympathetic nerve activity which may protect against stroke (Mueller et al: Stroke 13: 115, 1982). Sympathetic nerve activity has never been examined in the stroke-prone substrain of SHR (SP). In this study we measured superior cervical sympathetic nerve activity during rest and during a maximal sympathetic response in SHR, SP, and their normotensive controls, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY). The resting superior cervical sympathetic nerve activity of SP was significantly less than SHR (p less than 0.02) but not different from WKY. During central ischemia, used to induce maximal sympathetic response, the increase in SP sympathetic nerve activity was significantly less than SHR (p less than 0.001) but was not different from WKY. This diminished capacity for elevated superior cervical sympathetic nerve activity in stroke-prone SHR may relate to their increased predisposition to stroke because sympathetic hyperactivity cannot protect cerebral vessels during acute hypertension.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association