The yin and yang of cardiac autonomic control: vago-sympathetic interactions revisited.
The effects of treatment with reserpine and/or the selective alpha 2-adrenoreceptor agonists clonidine and oxymetazoline on tissue levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-like immunoreactivity (-LI) and noradrenaline (NA) were studied in the guinea-pig. Clonidine treatment was associated with an increase in the levels of NPY-LI in the right atrium in a time- and dose-dependent manner. A significant (45%) elevation of the right atrial content of NPY-LI was present 2 h after administration of clonidine (50 micrograms kg-1 s.c.). After 24 h of repeated clonidine treatment the atrial levels of NPY-LI had increased by 95%. Following chronic clonidine treatment for two weeks, however, the right atrial NPY levels were similar to those in control animals. The corresponding cell-body content of NPY-LI in the stellate ganglion, remained unaffected by clonidine treatment. The levels of NPY-LI were also increased in the gastrocnemius muscle, spleen and adrenal gland after clonidine treatment while no changes were detected in the vas deferens or hypothalamus. The reserpine-induced reduction of NPY-LI in the right atrium, spleen, gastrocnemius muscle and adrenal gland was markedly inhibited by concomitant clonidine treatment while no effect was observed on NA depletion. The adrenoreceptor antagonists phentolamine, prazosin and yohimbine all inhibited the increase in cardiac content of NPY-LI seen after clonidine treatment. No elevation of tissue content of NPY-LI was observed after oxymetazoline (50 micrograms kg-1 s.c.) which, however, reversed the reserpine-induced depletion of NPY-LI. The reserpine-induced increase in content of NPY-LI in the stellate ganglion was also inhibited by clonidine and oxymetazoline.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)