Yohimbine induces sympathetically mediated renin release in the conscious rat

Sandra L. Pfister, T. Kent Keeton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The preferential α2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine (4 mg/kg s.c) caused a time-related increase in serum renin activity and heart rate in conscious Sprague-Dawley rats. Although mean arterial pressure was not decreased significantly over the 2-h period, heart rate was elevated significantly at 15 and 30 min post-injection. In contrast, serum renin activity remained elevated for up to 2 h with a 9-fold and 9.7-fold increase occuring at 30 and 60 min post-injection, respectively. Yohimbine (0.3, 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg s.c.) elicited a dose-related increase in serum renin activity and heart rate (30 min post-injection). The 1 mg/kg dose of yohimbine did not alter blood pressure whereas the 3 mg/kg dose caused a variable decrease in mean arterial pressure. The highest dose of yohimbine (10 mg/kg) significantly lowered blood pressure. The β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol (1.5 mg/kg s.c.), blocked the renin release and tachycardia caused by yohimbine (1 and 3 mg/kg s.c.), and the ganglionic blocking agent chlorisondamine partially inhibited the renin release elicited by 3 mg/kg (s.c.) of yohimbine. The prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors indomethacin (5 mg/kg s.c.) and meclofenamate (5 mg/kg s.c.) impaired the ability of yohimbine (3 mg/kg) to elevate SRA but did not alter the hemodynamic effects of yohimbine. Thus, the increase in renin release caused by yohimbine appears to be mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. Because the smaller doses of yohimbine increase renin release in the absence of a decrease in mean arterial pressure, it is unlikely that yohimbine stimulates renin release by baroreflex-mediated activation of the renal sympathetic nerves. We feel that yohimbine increases the rate of release of norepinephrine onto the granular juxtaglomerular cells of the kidney by blocking prejunctional α2-adrenergic receptors on the renal sympathetic nerve and/or a centrally mediated activation of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 27 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorisondamine
  • Indomethacin
  • Mean arterial pressure
  • Propranolol
  • Serum renin activity
  • Yohimbine
  • α-Adrenergic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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