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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Metoprolol, but not atenolol, reduces stress induced neuropeptide Y release in pigs

Åblad, Bengt; Bjurö, Thorvald; Björkman, Jan-Arne; Brax, Owe; Ewaldsson, Lars; Forshult, Eva; Lidfors, Lena; Lundberg, Jan M.


Objectives. To explore if beta-adrenergic receptors in the brain are involved in acute and delayed cardiovascular responses to a brief emotional stress, by comparing the effects of the beta 1-blockers metoprolol (lipophilic) and atenolol (hydrophilic). Design. Male dominant pigs, singleliving, freely moving, with telemetric recordings of intra-arterial pressure and ECG and assay of plasma levels of the adrenergic cotransmittor neuropeptideY (NPY), were confronted with four alien pigs for three minutes at weekly intervals. Weeks 1 and 4 were controls, in weeks 2 and 3 randomized crossover treatment with metoprolol or atenolol were given. Results. The confrontation caused instant and transient tachycardia and more prolonged effects in terms of increased plasma NPY levels, increased arterial pressure and reduced cardiac vagal activation. The two beta-blockers inhibited the tachycardia equally, but only metoprolol reduced the prolonged effects. Conclusions. Emotionally induced sympathetic activation involves peripheral release of NPY causing a prolonged increase of arterial pressure and a reduction of cardiac vagal activity. These effects are prevented by central nervous beta-adrenoceptor blockade.

Published in

Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal
2010, volume: 44, number: 5, pages: 273-278

Authors' information

Åblad, Bengt
Bjurö, Thorvald
Björkman, Jan-Arne
Brax, Owe
Ewaldsson, Lars
Forshult, Eva
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health
Lundberg, Jan M.

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

Publication Identifiers


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