Central control mechanisms in hypertension

Leonard Arnolda*, Hui H. Wang, Jane Maison, Ida Llewellyn-Smith, Satoshi Suzuki, Paul Pilovosky, John Chalmers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    There is substantial evidence for an activation of the sympathetic nervous system in man as well as in genetic models of hypertension, such as the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), but we are only beginning to understand the central mechanisms that generate changes in sympathetic activity and elevate blood pressure (BP). Significant recent advances have been made in defining the neural pathways involved in BP regulation and in identifying the neurotransmitters these neurones utilise. In this overview, we describe the neural pathways within the medulla oblongata and spinal cord that participate in BP control and examine that role of amino acid neurotransmitters within these pathways. We demonstrate how alterations in these pathways explain the sympathetic activation observed in the SHR and contribute to hypertension in this model. Lastly, we examine the application of modern molecular biological approaches to further our understanding of the neural regulation of the circulation. In these studies, we used the administration of antisense oligonucleotides to interrupt gene expression.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)474-478
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    • Antisense oligonucleotides
    • Human hypertension
    • Spontaneously hypertensive rat
    • Sympathetic nervous system


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