Electrophysiological properties and augmented catecholamine release from chromaffin cells of WKY and SHR rats contributing to the hypertension development elicited by chronic EtOH consumption
It is known that chronic ethanol (EtOH) consumption leads to hypertension development and has been associated with deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system. Whether this condition alters calcium (Ca2+) signaling and exocytosis in adrenal chromaffin cells (CCs) as the case is for genetic hypertension, is unknown. We explored this question in four randomized experimental groups, male Wistar Kyoto (WKY/EtOH) and Spontaneously Hypertensive (SHR/EtOH) rats were subjected to the intake of increasing EtOH concentrations (5–20%, for 30 days) and their respective controls (WKY/Control and SHR/Control) received water. WKY/EtOH developed hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy; blood aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and H2O2 were also augmented. In comparison with WKY/Control, CCs from WKY/EtOH had the following features: (i) depolarization and higher frequency of spontaneous action potentials; (ii) decreased Ca2+ currents with slower inactivation; (iii) decreased K+ currents; (iv) augmented K+-elicited cytosolic Ca2+ transients ([Ca2+]c); (v) enhanced K+-elicited catecholamine release. These cardiovascular, blood and CCs changes were qualitatively similar to those undergone by SHR/Control and SHR/EtOH. The results suggest that the hypertension elicited by chronic EtOH has pathogenic features common to genetic hypertension namely, augmented [Ca2+]c transients and catecholamine release from their CCs.