A molecular component of the arterial baroreceptor mechanotransducer

Neuron. 1998 Dec;21(6):1435-41. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80661-3.


Baroreceptor nerve endings detect acute fluctuations in arterial pressure. We tested the hypothesis that members of the DEG/ENaC family of cation channels, which are responsible for touch sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans, may be components of the baroreceptor mechanosensor. We found the gamma subunit of ENaC localized to the site of mechanotransduction in baroreceptor nerve terminals innervating the aortic arch and carotid sinus. A functional role for DEG/ENaC members was suggested by blockade of baroreceptor nerve activity and baroreflex control of blood pressure by an amiloride analog that inhibits DEG/ENaC channels. These data suggest that ENaC subunits may be components of the baroreceptor mechanotransducer and pave the way to a better definition of mechanisms responsible for blood pressure regulation and hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amiloride / analogs & derivatives
  • Amiloride / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic / innervation
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carotid Sinus / innervation
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Helminth Proteins / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / innervation*
  • Nerve Endings / drug effects
  • Nerve Endings / physiology*
  • Nodose Ganglion / physiology*
  • Pressoreceptors / drug effects
  • Pressoreceptors / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sodium Channels / genetics
  • Sodium Channels / physiology*
  • Touch


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Deg-1 protein, C elegans
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Sodium Channels
  • benzamil
  • Amiloride