1. Release of [3H]noradrenaline during peri-arterial nerve stimulation and its inhibition by the presynaptic α-adrenoceptor mechanism were studied in the isolated perfused kidney from spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar-Kyoto rats.

2. A frequency related vasoconstriction as well as [3H]noradrenaline release were observed over the stimulating range of 0.25-32 Hz in both the Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats. The spontaneously hypertensive rat kidneys exhibited both an increased vasoconstrictor response and a greater [3H]noradrenaline release when compared with the Wistar-Kyoto rat kidneys.

3. Presynaptic inhibition of [3H]noradrenaline release was evaluated at 2 Hz by using the α-adrenoceptor agonist, tramazoline. Increasing concentrations of tramazoline from 2 × 10−9 mol/l to 2 × 10−7 mol/l caused a dose-dependent decrease in the stimulus-induced release of [3H]noradrenaline in spontaneously hypertensive rats but not in Wistar-Kyoto rats. Only 2 × 10−7 mol/l tramazoline had an inhibitory effect in the Wistar-Kyoto rats.

4. These data indicate that noradrenaline release during sympathetic nerve stimulation is greater in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. The supersensitivity of presynaptic α-adrenoceptors observed in spontaneously hypertensive rats may be a consequence of the greater noradrenaline release present in these animals.

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