Plasma catecholamines during endotoxin infusion in conscious unrestrained rats: Effects of adrenal demedullation and/or guanethidine treatment

K. McKechnie, H. G. Dean, B. L. Furman, J. R. Parratt

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Abstract

We have examined the effect of E coli endotoxin infusion (41 μg kg-1 min-1 iv for 4 h) on plasma concentrations of epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), and dopamine (DA) in the conscious unrestrained rat. Saline infusion did not change catecholamine concentrations from the preinfusion values of 230.8 ± 32.9 pg ml-1 (E), 456.8 ± 104.9 pg ml-1 (NE), and 49.0 ± 19.9 pg ml-1 (DA). Endotoxin produced marked elevations in all three catecholamines. At 1 h, the plasma concentrations were 3,279 ml-1 (DA). Thereafter, concentrations of E decreased whereas concentrations of NE and DA increased. These increases were prevented by a combination of adrenal demedullation (28 days previously) and treatment with guanethidine (25 mg kg-1 iv, -24 h) ('sympathectomy'). Guanethidine alone markedly reduced the peak NE concentrations without affecting the E concentrations or the 1-h NE concentrations. Demedullation alone prevented the increase in E and reduced the 1-h NE concentrations. Survival in such 'sympathectomized' animals was markedly reduced (survival at 4 h in rats receiving endotoxin alone, 100%: in 'sympathectomized' animals receiving endotoxin, 12.5%). The tachycardia produced by endotoxin was attenuated in 'sympathectomized' rats and mean arterial blood pressure fell rapidly. Endotoxin-induced hyperglycemia was prevented by 'sympathectomy' and hypoglycemia was evident as early as 1 h after commencing the infusion. Endotoxin produced hypoinsulinemia in normal rats but did not change plasma insulin values in 'sympathectomized' animals, although these animals showed a pre-endotoxin fasting hyperinsulinemia. An important protective role for catecholamines is suggested, especially in the early stages of shock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalCirculatory Shock
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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