Persistence of sympathetic-mediated forearm vasoconstriction after alpha-blockade in hypertensive patients.
Sympathetic vasoconstriction not mediated by alpha-adrenoceptors has been identified in vitro and in animals but not in humans. We evaluated the effect of alpha-adrenoceptor blockade on either endogenous vascular sympathetic activation (obtained through the application of a nonhypotensive lower-body negative pressure, -10 mm Hg for 5 minutes) or selective postsynaptic alpha-adrenoceptor stimulation by exogenous norepinephrine (0.005 micrograms/100 ml forearm tissue/min for 3 minutes) in the presence of beta-blockade by propranolol (10 micrograms/100 ml forearm tissue/min for 15 minutes). Drugs were infused into the brachial artery at systemically ineffective rates while continuously monitoring forearm blood flow (by venous plethysmography), intra-arterial mean arterial pressure, and heart rate in patients with essential hypertension. The irreversible antagonist phenoxybenzamine was used at a rate of 20 micrograms/100 ml forearm tissue/min for 1 hour, which antagonized the local responses to norepinephrine in a range of 0.005-0.05 micrograms/100 ml forearm tissue/min. During saline administration, either lower-body negative pressure or exogenous norepinephrine decreased forearm blood flow comparably. However, after phenoxybenzamine administration, forearm vasoconstriction to norepinephrine was abolished while a residual response to lower-body negative pressure remained in each patient. To exclude insufficient alpha-adrenoceptor blockade, the same experimental protocol was repeated by doubling phenoxybenzamine concentrations. No difference from the data obtained with the lower level of antagonist was found. Further studies were performed to confirm the sympathetic origin of the residual vasoconstriction. Bretylium tosylate, a neurotransmitter blocker, infused into the brachial artery (50 micrograms/100 ml forearm tissue/min for 90 minutes) abolished the effect of endogenous sympathetic activation but did not alter the effect of exogenous norepinephrine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association