Attenuated arteriolar dilator responses to calcium in genetically hypertensive rats.
Vascular responses to calcium were studied in 14 genetically hypertensive (GH) rats of the New Zealand strain and 16 weight- and age-matched normotensive parent strain control rats under chloralose-pentobarbital anesthesia. Calcium (chloride or gluconate) in an isosmolar solution was infused intraarterially into the hindlimb vascular bed which was vascularly isolated, innervated, and pump-perfused (blood, 1 ml/min). Increases in limb plasma calcium concentrations up to 30 mEq/liter decreased limb vascular resistance, with no evidence for vasoconstriction. In GH rats decreases in limb vascular resistance in response to increments in limb plasma calcium concentrations of 3.6 to 10.8 mEq/liter were significantly (p less than 0.02) attenuated compared to age-matched controls. When responses in GH were compared to weight-matched controls, similar trends toward attenuation reached significance (p less than 0.02) at Ca2+ increments of 10.8 mEq/liter. In eight other GH rats, we measured total serum calcium concentrations and found them reduced (4.94 +/- 0.08 mEq/liter), especially as compared to values in eight rats of an unrelated Wistar strain (5.42 +/- 0.04 mEq/liter; p less than 0.05). These experiments provide evidence that, over physiological ranges, calcium relaxes arteriolar smooth muscle in rats and that this vasodilation is attenuated in genetically hypertensive rats. Thus, both the lower serum levels of calcium and the attenuated responses to calcium may contribute to the elevated peripheral vascular resistance and hypertension in these rats.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association