Betaxolol is a new β-blocker that has been reported to have β1-selectivity, and it is devoid of both membrane stabilizing action and intrinsic sympathomimetic action. The effects of betaxolol on systemic and regional hemodynamics were examined in conscious spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) by a microsphere method and compared with the effects of atenolol. A single oral administration of betaxolol at 1 and 10 mg/kg decreased the mean arterial pressure in a dose-dependent manner. At the same doses, atenolol also showed a similar but weak hypotensive effect. Both of these drugs at the high dose decreased cardiac output and heart rate and at the low dose, did not. Total peripheral resistance decreased by only betaxolol at the low dose. Betaxolol showed a tendency to normalize the hemodynamic abnormalities which were observed in the kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal tract of SHR, while atenolol did not. It should be noted that betaxolol increased the flow rate in the kidney, which may be explained by its direct vasodilatory action on renal blood vessels. In conclusion, betaxolol showed an antihypertensive action at the doses of 1 and 10 mg/kg, exhibited the characteristics of a β1-blocker and produced preferable effects on regional hemodynamics in SHR.
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