Tempol in the dorsomedial hypothalamus attenuates the hypertensive response to stress in rabbits

Robert Mark De Matteo, Geoffrey A Head, Dmitry N Mayorov

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BACKGROUND: We have recently shown that microinjection of the superoxide dismutase mimetic tempol into the pressor region of the rostral ventrolateral medulla attenuates the cardiovascular response to mental (air-jet) stress in rabbits. In the present study, we examined the influence of tempol on the blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) responses to stress in the key region of the hypothalamic defense area, the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). METHODS: New Zealand White rabbits were implanted with guide cannulae for microinjection into the DMH. After 2 weeks of recovery, the cardiovascular response to air-jet stress was evaluated before and after bilateral injections of equimolar doses (20 nmol) of the superoxide scavengers tempol, tiron, or 3-carbamoyl proxyl (3-CP). RESULTS: Microinjection of superoxide scavengers into the DMH did not alter resting BP or HR. Air-jet stress evoked a sustained increase in BP (+16 +/- 2 mm Hg) and HR (+48 +/- 5 beats/min). Tempol attenuated the pressor and tachycardic responses to air-jet stress by 39 +/- 10 and 37 +/- 8 , respectively (P <.05), without altering stress-induced tachypnea. Similarly, tiron selectively decreased the BP and HR responses to stress by 33 +/- 8 and 53 +/- 13 , respectively (P <.05). Conversely, 3-CP, which is structurally close to tempol but has a lower superoxide scavenging activity, did not alter the cardiovascular stress response, and neither did vehicle. Microinjection of tempol or tiron just outside the DMH had little effect on stress responses. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides first published evidence that superoxide in the DMH is important in the regulation of acute hypertensive and tachycardic responses to mental stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396 - 402
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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