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Obesity-induced sympathoexcitation is associated with Nrf2 dysfunction in the rostral ventrolateral medulla

Balasubramanian, P and Asirvatham-Jeyaraj, N and Monteiro, R and Sivasubramanian, MK and Hall, D and Subramanian, M (2020) Obesity-induced sympathoexcitation is associated with Nrf2 dysfunction in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. In: American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 318 (2). R435-R444.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00206.2019


Increases in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) have been implicated in obesity-induced risk for cardiovascular diseases, especially hypertension. Previous studies indicate that oxidative stress in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), a key brain stem region that regulates sympathetic outflow to peripheral tissues, plays a pathogenic role in obesity-mediated sympathoexcitation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not clear. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes and confers cytoprotection against oxidative stress. The present study was designed to investigate whether Nrf2 dysfunction was associated with obesity-induced oxidative stress in the RVLM and sympathoexcitation. C57BL/6J mice were fed with chow or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16 wk. Blood pressure parameters were assessed by radiotelemeters in conscious freely moving mice. SNA was measured by heart rate variability analysis and also through assessment of depressor response to ganglionic blockade. The RVLM was microdissected for gene expression and protein analysis (Western blot analysis and activity assay) related to Nrf2 signaling. Our results showed that HFD-induced obesity resulted in significant increases in SNA, although we only observed a mild increase in mean arterial pressure. Obesity-induced oxidative stress in the RVLM was associated with impaired Nrf2 signaling marked by decreased Nrf2 activity, downregulation of Nrf2 mRNA, its target genes NAD(P)H quinone dehyrogenase 1 (Nqo1) and superoxide dismutase 2 (Sod2), and inflammation. Our findings suggest that obesity results in Nrf2 dysfunction, which likely causes maladaptation to oxidative stress and inflammation in the RVLM. These mechanisms could potentially contribute to obesity-induced sympathoexcitation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to NLM (Medline)
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2020 07:36
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 07:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/64585

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