Alterations in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Variabililty in Transgenic Rats with Low Brain Angiotensinogen
The brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) system may play a functional role in the long-term and short-term control of blood pressure (BPV) and heart rate variability (HRV). To study this we recorded in transgenic rats TGR(ASrAOGEN) with low brain angiotensinogen levels the 24-h variation of BP and HR during basal and hypertensive conditions, induced by a low-dose s.c. infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II, 100 ng/kg/min) for 7 days. Cardiovascular parameters were monitored by telemetry. Short-term BPV and HRV were evaluated by spectral analysis and as a measure of baroreflex sensitivity the transfer gain between the pressure and heart rate variations was calculated. During the Ang II infusion, in SD but not TGR(ASrAOGEN) rats, the 24-h rhythm of BP was inverted (5.8 ± 2 vs. -0.4 ± 1.8 mm Hg/group of day-night differences of BP, p< 0.05, respectively). In contrast, in both the SD and TGR(ASrAOGEN) rats, the 24-h HR rhythms remained unaltered and paralleled those of locomotor activity. The increase of systolic BP was significantly reduced in TGR(ASrAOGEN) in comparison to SD rats as previously described, while the HR was not altered in TGR(ASrAOGEN) nor in SD rats. The spectral index of baroreflex sensitivity (FFT gain between 0.3-0.6 Hz) was significantly higher in TGR(ASrAOGEN) than SD rats during control (0.71 ± 0.1 vs. 0.35 ± 0.06, p<0.05), but not during Ang II infusion (0.6 ± 0.07 vs. 0.4 ± 0.1, p>0.05). These results demonstrate that the brain RAS plays an important role in mediating the effects of Ang II on the circadian variation of BP. Furthermore these data are consistent with the view that the brain RAS modulates baroreflex control of HR in rats, with AII having an inhibitory role.