To investigate the mechanism of the central action of dopamine and its antagonist, metoclopramide, on the regulation of aldosterone, studies were performed in 54 conscious rats with and without bilateral nephrectomy. In normal and sham-operated rats, intracerebroventricular injection of dopamine resulted in a significant suppression of plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone at 30 min, and intracerebroventricular injection of metoclopramide resulted in a significant elevation of plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone at 30 min without altering the plasma corticosterone and potassium levels. In bilaterally nephrectomized rats, the plasma renin activity was significantly reduced and it did not respond to dopamine or metoclopramide. In these rats, intracerebroventricular injection of metoclopramide exerted no effect on the plasma aldosterone, but intracerebroventricular injection of dopamine increased the plasma aldosterone slightly. However, this increase was not statistically significant. These findings suggest that the dopaminergic system in the brain is involved in the regulation of aldosterone secretion, mainly with changes in the peripheral renin-angiotensin axis in rats.
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