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    Nerve growth factor gene locus explains elevated renal nerve growth factor mRNA in young spontaneously hypertensive rats
    Charchar, FJ ; Kapuscinski, MK ; Harrap, SB (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1998-10-01)
    Nerve growth factor (NGF) controls the growth of sympathetic nerves and is increased in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The NGF gene has been linked genetically with hypertension in the SHR strain and may explain high NGF mRNA levels. To test for genetic linkage between the NGF gene and its expression in vivo, we examined renal NGF mRNA levels in male SHR, control Donryu rats (DRY), and F2 rats derived from SHR and DRY at ages 2, 4, 10, and 20 weeks. Tail-cuff blood pressure was measured at 4, 10, and 20 weeks of age. NGF mRNA levels in SHR (NGF genotype: SS) were higher than those in DRY (NGF genotype: DD) at 2, 4, and 10 weeks of age (P<0.0001) but the same at 20 weeks of age. In the F2 generation, the S allele was associated with significantly (P=0.01) higher renal NGF mRNA levels at 2 weeks of age. Mean NGF mRNA levels fell (P=0.01) with age in F2 rats, and the difference between SS and DD genotype F2 rats diminished at older ages and was not significant. In F2 rats there was a positive correlation between the number of NGF S alleles inherited and tail-cuff pressure (P<0.007). Our findings indicate that the NGF locus is an important regulator of NGF mRNA levels. It is likely that mutations in or near the NGF gene explain in part high early NGF gene expression in SHR.
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    Persistent reduction in renal nerve growth factor mRNA after perindopril treatment of young spontaneously hypertensive rats
    Charchar, FJ ; Kapuscinski, M ; Harrap, SB (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1998-02-01)
    Nerve growth factor (NGF) determines sympathetic innervation of target tissues, and NGF levels are increased in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Angiotensin can affect NGF levels, and the persistent reduction in blood pressure after brief angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition in young SHR may involve long-term changes in NGF and sympathetic innervation. We measured the relative abundance of renal NGF mRNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in SHR during and after treatment from 6 to 10 weeks of age with vehicle, perindopril (3 mg/kg per day), the bradykinin B2 antagonist Hoe 140 (0.5 mg/kg per day), both perindopril and Hoe 140, or angiotensin II (Ang II; 200 ng/kg per minute). Glomerular filtration rates were estimated at 10 and 20 weeks of age. At 10 weeks of age, Ang II caused a significant (P<.01) increase and perindopril caused a significant (P<.01) decrease in renal NGF mRNA levels. Blockade of the bradykinin B2 receptor during perindopril treatment attenuated (P<.05) the reduction in NGF mRNA levels. Renal NGF mRNA (P=.005) and blood pressure (P<.001) remained significantly lower than control 10 weeks after perindopril treatment was stopped. The partial reduction in blood pressure at 20 weeks of age in rats that had received perindopril and Hoe 140 was not associated with any difference in renal NGF mRNA. Perindopril-induced long-term reduction in renal NGF mRNA levels may decrease sympathetic innervation and thereby contribute to the long-term posttreatment blood pressure reduction.
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    Low affinity nerve growth factor receptor gene co-segregates with decreased bodyweight and increased left ventricular weight in spontaneously hypertensive rats
    Kapuscinski, MK ; Nemoto, K ; Ueyama, T ; Charchar, F ; Kageyama, H ; Fukumachi, K ; Sekimoto, M ; Senba, E ; Tomita, T ; Tomita, I ; Harrap, SB (WILEY, 1996-06-01)
    1. The sympathetic nervous system influences the cardiovascular and hormonal systems and sympathetic innervation is dependent on nerve growth factor (NGF). The NGF gene is linked genetically to high blood pressure in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and there exists a mutation in the SHR low affinity NGF receptor (LNGFR) gene. 2. To determine whether the LNGFR mutation was linked genetically with cardiovascular phenotypes we studied an F2 population derived from SHR and normotensive Donryu (DRY) rats. 3. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), left ventricular mass (LVM) and related phenotypes were measured in 127 20 week old male F2 rats and correlated with the inheritance of the SHR mutation (S) and/or the DRY allele (D) of the LNGFR. 4. Analysis of variance revealed that the S mutation was associated with a significantly lower bodyweight in F2 rats (P < 0.0001). 5. The S mutation was associated with a significant (P < 0.007) increase in LVM:bodyweight ratio, but not with differences in right ventricular or kidney weights corrected for bodyweight. We found no association between MAP and LNGFR alleles or genotypes. 6. These results suggest that the mutation in the signal peptide of LNGFR may serve as a useful marker for the analysis of genetic factor(s) involved in the differential determination of body size and heart weight.
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    Nerve growth factor gene and hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats
    Kapuscinski, M ; Charchar, F ; Innes, B ; Mitchell, GA ; Norman, TL ; Harrap, SB (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1996-02-01)
    OBJECTIVE: High blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is associated with increased sympathetic innervation of key tissues, possibly as the result of increased nerve growth factor (NGF). The aim of this study was to test for genetic linkage of the NGF gene to high blood pressure. DESIGN: We studied NGF gene expression in young SHR and examined linkage of the NGF locus to mean arterial pressure in genetically segregating crosses of SHR and normotensive Donryu (DRY) rats. METHODS: NGF mRNA was measured by Northern blot, and a restriction fragment length polymorphism of the NGF gene revealed after digestion with the NsiI restriction enzyme was used to study inheritance. RESULTS: Levels of NGF mRNA were detected easily in the kidneys of 2-, 4- and 10-week-old SHR but not in age-matched DRY rats. In an F2 population, the blood pressure of rats homozygous for the DRY NGF allele was 6 mmHg less than in heterozygotes and 8 mmHg less than in rats homozygous for the SHR NGF allele (analysis of variance, P < 0.004). In backcross rats the blood pressure of NGF heterozygotes was not significantly different from that of SHR homozygotes. CONCLUSION: These results indicate differences in renal NGF mRNA in SHR during the development of hypertension and suggest that a genetic locus in or near the NGF gene contributes in a Mendelian dominant pattern to a significant increment in blood pressure in SHR.