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This study demonstrates that both CO2 -induced respiratory and cardiovascular responses are augmented in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Genetic ablation of the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) neurons depresses enhanced hypercapnic ventilatory response and eliminates CO2 -stimulated increase in arterial pressure and heart rate in SHRs. SHRs have a high protein level of pH-sensitive channels in the RTN, including the TASK-2 channel, Kv12.1 channel and acid-sensing ion channel 3. The inhibition of putative TASK-2 channel activity by clofilium diminishes amplified hypercapnic ventilatory and cardiovascular responses, and reduces the number of CO2 -activated RTN neurons in SHRs. These results indicate that RTN neurons contribute to enhanced CO2 -stimulated respiratory and cardiovascular responses in SHRs. The respiratory regulation of cardiovascular activity is essential for maintaining an efficient ventilation and perfusion ratio. Activation of central respiratory chemoreceptors not only elicits a ventilatory response but also regulates sympathetic nerve activity and arterial blood pressure (ABP). The retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) is the most completely characterized cluster of central respiratory chemoreceptors. We hypothesize that RTN neurons contribute to augmented CO2 -stimulated respiratory and cardiovascular responses in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Our findings indicate that SHRs exhibit more enhanced hypercapnic cardiorespiratory responses than age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Genetic ablation of RTN neurons notably depresses an enhanced hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR) and eliminates a CO2 -stimulated greater increase in ABP and heart rate in SHRs. In addition, SHRs have a higher protein level of pH-sensitive channels in the RTN, including TASK-2 channels, Kv12.1 channels and acid-sensing ion channel 3. Administration of clofilium (i.p.), an unselective inhibitor of TASK-2 channels, not only significantly reduces the enhanced HCVR but also inhibits CO2 -amplified increases in ABP and heart rate in SHRs. Moreover, clofilium significantly decreases the number of CO2 -activated RTN neurons in SHRs. Taken together, we suggest that RTN neurons play an important role in enhanced hypercapnic ventilatory and cardiovascular responses in SHRs and the putative mechanism involved is associated with TASK-2 channel activity in the RTN. © 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2020 The Physiological Society.

Citation

Yanming Tian, Danyang Geng, Yakun Wang, Luo Shi, Hongxiao Yu, Wei He, Yufang Zhu, Shirui Jun, Congrui Fu, Xin Wang, Xiangjian Zhang, Fang Yuan, Sheng Wang. Contribution of retrotrapezoid nucleus neurons to CO2 -amplified cardiorespiratory activity in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The Journal of physiology. 2021 Feb;599(4):1115-1130

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PMID: 33347681

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