1. The kinin antagonist des-Arg9−[Leu8]bradykinin, injected into the lateral ventricle, caused a long-lasting, dose-dependent reduction in arterial blood pressure and heart rate in spontaneously hypertensive rats but not in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats; the antagonist also blocked the pressor response to ventricularly infused bradykinin in both strains.
2. Bradykinin content was increased in the hypothalamus and septum and decreased in the dorsal medulla of spontaneously hypertensive rats when compared with those of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats, whereas similar bradykinin contents were observed in the pineal gland, hypophysis and rostroventrolateral medulla of both rat strains.
3. Increased concentrations of bradykinin and its precursor kininogen were found in the cerebrospinal fluid of spontaneously hypertensive rats.
4. Bradykinin receptor numbers, measured as the binding of [125I-Tyr1]bradykinin to nervous tissue, were found to be increased in the dorsal medulla and hypophysis, and to be decreased in the pineal gland, of spontaneously hypertensive rats.
5. Therefore, the central kinin system may participate, by both pre- and post-synaptic mechanisms, in the maintenance of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats.