Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction, such as orthostatic hypotension consequent to baroreflex failure and cardiac sympathetic denervation, is frequently observed in the synucleinopathy Parkinson's disease (PD). In the present study, the baroreceptor reflex was assessed in mice overexpressing human wildtype alpha-synuclein (Thy1-aSyn), a genetic mouse model of synucleinopathy. The beat-to-beat change in heart rate (HR), computed from R-R interval, in relation to blood pressure was measured in anesthetized and conscious mice equipped with arterial blood pressure telemetry transducers during transient bouts of hypertension and hypotension. Compared to wildtype, tachycardia following nitroprusside-induced hypotension was significantly reduced in Thy1-aSyn mice. Thy1-aSyn mice also showed an abnormal cardiovascular response (i.e., diminished tachycardia) to muscarinic blockade with atropine. We conclude that Thy1-aSyn mice have impaired basal and dynamic range of sympathetic and parasympathetic-mediated changes in HR and will be a useful model for long-term study of cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction associated with PD. © 2013 Fleming, Jordan, Mulligan, Masliah, Holden, Millard, Chesselet and Roos.
Fleming, S. M., Jordan, M. C., Mulligan, C. K., Masliah, E., Holden, J. G., Millard, R. W., … Roos, K. P. (2013). Impaired baroreflex function in mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein. Frontiers in Neurology, 4 JUL. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2013.00103