Hemodynamic regulation in SHR: Investigation by spectral analysis

S. Akselrod, S. Eliash, O. Oz, S. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work is based on the premise that hypertension in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is a consequence of an imbalance in autonomic cardiovascular control. Spontaneous, instantaneous fluctuations in heart rate (HR) and arterial blood pressure (ABP) were studied by spectral analysis in age-matched groups of SHR and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Continuous recordings of ABP and HR made in conscious, unrestrained, young 1-, 2-, 3-, and 6-mo-old rats show that power spectra of HR fluctuations were similar in both strains, whereas ABP fluctuations were significantly different in the low, presumably vasomotor frequency range being reduced in SHR as compared with age-matched WKY rats. In 1-mo-old rats, the difference between strains became smaller with urethan anesthesia and disappeared with spinalization, suggesting that it might have originated in some disparity between the strains at the level of the central nervous system. Low doses of phentolamine elicited a fall in low-frequency ABP fluctuations of WKY but a rise in SHR, whereas larger doses produced a fall in the power of both. In SHR, reduction in the power spectrum of ABP fluctuations in the presence of unaltered HR fluctuations may indicate an impaired control of sympathetic drive to resistance vessels compared with WKY. Note that in young SHR, hypertension also cannot be detected by conventional measurement. Fluctuations in ABP in WKY may reflect an optimal level of sympathetic activity; reduction in fluctuations may be associated with an increase or decrease in sympathetic activity at the vascular bed. Spectral analysis of BP fluctuations may provide a useful tool for probing the etiology of hypertension and might possibly predict its eventual advent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H176-H183
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 (22/1)
StatePublished - 1987


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