The antihypertensive effect of clonidine has been attributed to acute inhibition of sympathetic outflow from the central nervous system. This conclusion is derived from experiments with single doses of clonidine. The mechanism of the long-term blood pressure-lowering effect of clonidine has been less well characterized. Antihypertensive therapy may alter renal hemodynamics and these changes may ultimately affect systemic blood pressure. We studied the effect of long-term clonidine therapy on intrarenal hemodynamics, the renin-angiotensin system, and selected indices of sympathetic nervous system activity in 13 patients with essential hypertension to further elucidate its action. Gong-term clonidine therapy resulted in decreased MAP and RVR associated with the suppression of supine but not upright PRA. RPF, RBF, FF, and WBV did not change. UKA, an index of the putative vasodilating renal kallikrein-kinin system, was also not changed. Our findings suggest a role for PRA in modulating RVR during long-term clonidine therapy. This was associated with the reduction observed in MAP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)