Renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous system contribution to high blood pressure in Schlager mice

Kesia Palma-Rigo, Kristy L. Jackson, Pamela J Davern, Thu-Phuc Nguyen-Huu, Jean-Luc Elghozi, Geoffrey A. Head

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20 Citations (Scopus)


 Objective: Schlager hypertensive (BPH/2J) mice have been suggested to have high blood pressure (BP) due to an overactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS), but the contribution of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is unclear. In the present study, we examined the cardiovascular effects of chronically blocking the RAS in BPH/2J mice. Methods: Schlager normotensive (BPN/3J, n = 6) and BPH/2J mice (n = 8) received the angiotensin AT1A-receptor antagonist losartan (150 mg/kg per day) in drinking water for 2 weeks. Pre-implanted telemetry devices were used to record mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and locomotor activity. Results: MAP was reduced by losartan treatment in BPN/3J (-23 mmHg, P < 0.01) and in BPH/2J mice (-25 mmHg, P < 0.001), whereas HR was increased. Losartan had little effect on initial pressor responses to feeding or to stress, but did attenuate the sustained pressor response to cage-switch stress. During the active period, the hypotension to sympathetic blockade with pentolinium was greater in BPH/2J than BPN/3J (suggesting neurogenic hypertension), but was not affected by losartan. During the inactive period, a greater depressor response to pentolinium was observed in losartan-treated animals. Conclusion: The hypotensive actions of losartan suggest that although the RAS provides an important contribution to BP, it contributes little, if at all, to the hypertension-induced or the greater stress-induced pressor responses in Schlager mice. The effects of pentolinium suggest that the SNS is mainly responsible for hypertension in BPH/2J mice. However, the RAS inhibits sympathetic vasomotor tone during inactivity and prolongs sympathetic activation during periods of adverse stress, indicating an important sympatho-modulatory role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2156-2166
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • baroreflex gain
  • cardiovascular responses
  • renin-angiotensin system
  • Schlager hypertensive mice
  • sympathetic nervous system

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