Importance of imidazoline-preferring receptors in the cardiovascular actions of chronically administered moxonidine, rilmenidine and clonidine in conscious rabbits Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:To determine the involvement of central imidazoline receptors in the cardiovascular actions of the chronically administered antihypertensive agents moxonidine, rilmenidine and clonidine. DESIGN AND METHODS:In 21 rabbits with implanted fourth-ventricular catheters, we investigated the central effects of three cumulative doses of an I(1)-imidazoline/alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist, efaroxan, and of an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist, 2-methoxyidazoxan (2-MI), on the changes in blood pressure and heart rate (HR) elicited by chronic subcutaneous administration of moxonidine, rilmenidine and clonidine, after 1 and 3 weeks of treatment. A low, medium and high dose of 2-MI was matched to three doses of efaroxan, such that each produced equal reversal of the hypotension induced by fourth-ventricular alpha-methyldopa and hence produced a similar degree of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor blockade. RESULTS:Clonidine and moxonidine, at doses of 1 mg/kg per day, and rilmenidine at 5 mg/kg per day, produced sustained reductions in mean arterial pressure of 13 +/- 3, 15 +/- 2 and 13 +/- 2 mmHg, respectively over the 3-week treatment period, but did not alter HR. Central administration of efaroxan on day 9 and day 23 of treatment produced a greater increase in blood pressure than did 2-MI with all three antihypertensive agents. Blood pressure reached levels that were significantly above the original control values. By contrast, the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist 2-MI only induced a rebound blood pressure effect in clonidine- and to a lesser extent in rilmenidine-treated rabbits. Both efaroxan and 2-MI produced a similar degree of tachycardia in moxonidine-, rilmenidine- and clonidine-treated animals.(2) CONCLUSIONS:The greater effect of efaroxan compared to the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist 2-MI suggests that the hypotension induced by chronic subcutaneous administration of moxonidine, rilmenidine and clonidine is mediated predominantly via an action on central imidazoline receptors. Furthermore, all agents showed a propensity to produce rebound hypertension with imidazoline receptor blockade. However, only clonidine showed a rebound phenomenon when challenged by acute central alpha(2)-adrenoceptor blockade

publication date

  • January 2003

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