PMID: 1517Jan 1, 1976

Evaluation of the permanent sympathectomy produced by the administration of guanethidine to adult rats

The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
E M Johnson, F O'Brien


The administration of guanethidine to adult rats has been shown by morphological criteria to destroy sympathetic neurons. The objective of this study was to evaluate by biochemical and functional criteria the degree and permanence of this sympathectomy. Young adult male rats (260-300 g) were injected with saline (controls) or with guanethidine for 5 weeks. The status of the sympathetic nervous system in the animals was evaluated 1, 3 and 6 to 7 months after cessation of treatment. Seven months after cessation of treatment; the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase in the superior cervical ganglia of treated animals was greatly reduced, as were the norepinephrine levels in peripheral tissues. The concentration of epinephrine and the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase in adrenals were not different from controls at any of the times studied. Norepinephrine concentrations in several areas of the central nervous system were unchanged. Increases in blood pressure in response to stimulation of the sympathetic vasomotor outflow in the pithed rat preparation were markedly and permanently reduced in guanethidine-treated animals. Isolated intestinal nerve-muscle preparations from guanethidine-treated animals usually contracted in response to ner...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Adrenal Glands
Electric Stimulation Technique
Ganglia, Spinal
Guanethidine Sulfate (2: 1), 14C-Labeled
Intestines, Small
Smooth Muscle
Sympathetic Nervous System

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