To determine if an abnormality exists in the sympathetic nervous system of patients with accelerated hypertension, we recorded muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) from the tibial nerve by microneurography in eight benign essential hypertensives and seven accelerated essential hypertensives. Basal MSNA, plasma renin activity, and plasma angiotensin II levels were significantly higher in accelerated hypertensives than in benign hypertensives (P < 0.05). To clarify the relationship between the renin-angiotensin axis and sympathetic nervous system in the accelerated hypertensives, we measured the MSNA after 7 d of oral administration of captopril (75 mg/d) for antihypertensive treatment in the benign hypertensives and accelerated hypertensives. After administering captopril, the arterial pressure decreased significantly in the benign hypertensives and accelerated hypertensives with decreases in plasma angiotensin II levels, and the decreases in arterial pressure were greater in the accelerated hypertensive than in the benign hypertensives. After captopril administration, the MSNA decreased significantly in the accelerated hypertensives but did not change in the benign hypertensives. Thus, in accelerated hypertensives, sympathetic tone is elevated, and the elevated sympathetic tone is closely related to the activated renin-angiotensin axis tone.
T Matsukawa, T Mano, E Gotoh, M Ishii