Cardiovascular research

GABAergic mechanism in the rostral ventrolateral medulla contributes to the hypotension of moxonidine.

PMID 20829217


The depressor action of the centrally antihypertensive drug moxonidine has been attributed to activation of I(1)-imidazoline receptor in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). The objective of this study was to determine the role of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mechanisms in the RVLM in mediating the effect of moxonidine in anaesthetized normotensive rats. The relationship between the effects of microinjection or picoinjection of moxonidine and the functional state of GABA receptors at the level of the RVLM or pre-sympathetic neuron was determined. Microdialysis was performed to detect the effect of moxonidine on the release of GABA in the RVLM. Western blot analysis was carried out to test the effect of chronic intracerebroventricular injection of moxonidine on the protein expression of GABA receptors in the RVLM. Pre-treatment with the GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptor antagonist bicuculline (5 pmol) or CGP35348 (200 pmol), respectively, microinjected into the RVLM significantly attenuated the decrease in blood pressure and renal sympathetic nerve activity induced by moxonidine. In 22 moxonidine-sensitive pre-sympathetic neurons in the RVLM, picoinjection of bicuculline (100 fmol/5 nL) significantly attenuated the neuronal inhibition evoked by moxonidine (100 pmol/5 nL). The release of GABA in the RVLM was increased after intravenous moxonidine (50 μg/kg). Central infusion of moxonidine upregulated the protein expression of both GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors in the RVLM. The current data demonstrate that GABAergic mechanisms in the RVLM are responsible for the hypotension and sympathoinhibition of moxonidine.

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Y0000226 Moxonidine, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard