Jing Sun1 • Xing-Sheng Ren1 • Ying Kang1 • Hang-Bing Dai1 • Lei Ding1,2 • Ning Tong3 • Guo-Qing Zhu1 • Ye-Bo Zhou1,*
1Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease and Molecular Intervention, Department of Physiology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
2Department of Pathophysiology, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, China
3Department of Neurology, Heze Municipal Hospital, Heze, China
Intermedin/adrenomedullin-2 (IMD/AM2), a member of the calcitonin gene-related peptide/AM family, plays an important role in protecting the cardiovascular system. However, its role in the enhanced sympathoexcitation in obesity-related hypertension is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of IMD in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus on sympathetic nerve activity (SNA), and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sympathetic activation in obesity-related hypertensive (OH) rats induced by a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. Acute experiments were performed under anesthesia. The dynamic alterations of sympathetic outflow were evaluated as changes in renal SNA and mean arterial pressure (MAP) in response to specific drugs. Male rats were fed a control diet (12% kcal as fat) or a high-fat diet (42% kcal as fat) for 12 weeks to induce OH. The results showed that IMD protein in the PVN was downregulated, but Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and plasma norepinephrine (NE, indicating sympathetic hyperactivity) levels, and systolic blood pressure were increased in OH rats. LPS (0.5 µg/50 nL)-induced enhancement of renal SNA and MAP was greater in OH rats than in obese or control rats. Bilateral PVN microinjection of IMD (50 pmol) caused greater decreases in renal SNA and MAP in OH rats than in control rats, and inhibited LPS-induced sympathetic activation, and these were effectively prevented in OH rats by pretreatment with the AM receptor antagonist AM22-52. The mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor U0126 in the PVN partially reversed the LPS-induced enhancement of SNA. However, IMD in the PVN decreased the LPS-induced ERK activation, which was also effectively prevented by AM22-52. Chronic IMD administration resulted in significant reductions in the plasma NE level and blood pressure in OH rats. Moreover, IMD lowered the TLR4 protein expression and ERK activation in the PVN, and decreased the LPS-induced sympathetic overactivity. These results indicate that IMD in the PVN attenuates SNA and hypertension, and decreases the ERK activation implicated in the LPS-induced enhancement of SNA in OH rats, and this is mediated by AM receptors.