Decreased alpha-adrenergic constriction of renal preglomerular arteries occurs with age and is gender-specific in the rat

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Age and/or gender appear to moderate alpha-adrenergic mediated constrictor mechanisms found in the interlobar arteries of the Munich Wistar rat. We have determined the extent of constriction to alpha-adrenergic receptor stimulation using norepinephrine, phenylephrine and A61603 (α1A-adrenergic receptor agonist) as a function of age and gender. Norepinephrine produced less constriction in male-derived arteries at ages greater than eight months as compared to the younger adult male (four to six months). The arteries derived from females did not demonstrate altered constriction until greater than 15 months of age. Similarly, arteries derived from the male demonstrated weaker constrictions to phenylephrine (10-6 to 10-3 M) at ages greater than eight months while arteries from females showed differences at greater than 15 months. In contrast, the effective concentration of norepinephrine to cause a 50% maximal constriction (EC50) was significantly less in the four to five-month-old male rats compared to the pooled data from older groups. Interestingly, four to five month old males had A61603 EC50 values similar to the 8 to 12-month and 15+ old females. These studies conclude that an age related loss of sympathetic α-adrenergic constriction of renal interlobar arteries is present in Munich Wistar rats. Furthermore, this loss, while similar along longitudinal aspects of age, is also different as a function of gender with the loss of α-adrenergic constrictor function delayed in the female when compared to the male.

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