Downregulation of adenosine and P2X receptor-mediated cardiovascular responses in heart failure rats
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Neurohormonal changes in congestive heart failure (CHF) include an enhanced peripheral sympathetic nerve activity which results in increased release of noradrenaline, neuropeptide Y and ATP. To examine if such changes in CHF would modulate peripheral pre- and postsynaptic receptors of ATP and its degradation product adenosine, experiments were performed in a rat model of ischaemic CHF. In this model, ischaemia was induced in rats by ligation of the left coronary artery. Our results demonstrate that there is a selective downregulation of P2X receptor-mediated pressor effects, while the hypotensive effects mediated by the endothelial P2Y receptors are unaffected in CHF. Moreover, the adenosine-mediated inhibitory effects on heart rate and blood pressure were also attenuated in the CHF rats. The most important changes in adenosine and P2-receptor function induced by ischaemic CHF were the reduced pressor effect mediated by the P2X receptor and the increased heart rate due to an attenuated inhibitory effect of adenosine.