1. Hydrallazine relaxes the rat tail artery by a direct action on vascular smooth muscle cells, which appears to be modulated by the action of sympathetic nerve terminals. 2. There is a gradient of response to hydrallazine in arteries from normotensive Wistar rats, the proximal segments being poorly responsive. This gradient disappears after denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine in vitro. 3. Exogenously added purines inhibit noncompetitively the vasodilator response to hydrallazine in denervated segments from normotensive Wistar rats. Their order of potency is 2-Cl-adenosine > adenosine > ATP > inosine. 4. The effect of hydrallazine in innervated, poorly responsive segments is greatly potentiated by theophylline (50 μmol/l) and propranolol (5 μmol/l). These results, together with the effect of denervation, suggest that there are endogenous purines leaking from the nerve terminals under our experimental conditions. 5. Hydrallazine produces a marked inhibition of stimulus-induced contraction and 3 H release after [ 3 H]noradrenaline loading. The mechanism of this prejunctional action appears to be different from the mechanism of the postjunctional effect.
1. Resting plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) activity and haemodynamic parameters were studied in untreated borderline (twenty-nine) and permanent (twenty-seven) essential hypertensive patients. DBH was also measured in sixty-three apparently healthy subjects. 2. Mean DBH values were not significantly different between the groups. 3. Cardiac output, cardiopulmonary blood volume and the cardiopulmonary blood volume/total blood volume ratio (CPBV/TBV) were significantly higher in borderline than in permanent hypertensive patients. 4. In borderline hypertensive patients, plasma DBH activity was directly correlated with diastolic arterial pressure and with values of cardiac output, cardiopulmonary blood volume and CPBV/TBV ratio. No such correlations could be observed in the permanent hypertensive group. 5. These results suggest that plasma DBH activities in borderline hypertension mainly depend on the sympathetic activity responsible for the haemodynamic variations. Contrariwise, plasma DBH activities in permanent essential hypertensive patients appear to reflect other factors.