1. Chemical renal medullectomy was performed in Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injection of 2-bromoethylamine hydrobromide (200 mg/kg body weight). The effect of this treatment upon blood pressure and mesenteric vascular reactivity and morphology was studied 3 weeks after treatment.
2. Blood pressure was significantly raised in medull-ectomized rats. The indirect systolic pressures (means ± sem) were 112 ± 2.4 mmHg (14.9 ± 0.32 kPa) and 123 ± 3.5 mmHg (16.4 ± 0.5 kPa) (P < 0.02) for control (n = 12) and medullectomized (n = 12) rats, respectively. However, there were no significant changes in the morphology of the mesenteric resistance vessels.
3. Maximum pressor responses and Ca2+ sensitivities were unchanged in these vessels compared with controls, but the sensitivity to noradrenaline was significantly reduced. Noradrenaline pD2 (= −log ED50) values (means ± sem) were 5.87 ± 0.03 and 5.69 ± 0.08 (P < 0.05) for control (n = 12) and medullectomized (n = 12) rats, respectively.
4. This study demonstrates that in this model of hypertension the noradrenaline sensitivity is reduced in mesenteric resistance vessels, but there are no detectable morphological changes associated with the rise in blood pressure.