Sex- and age-related differences in arterial pressure and albuminuria in mice

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Background: Animal models have become valuable experimental tools for understanding the pathophysiology and therapeutic interventions in cardiovascular disease. Yet to date, few studies document the age- and sex-related differences in arterial pressure, circadian rhythm, and renal function in normotensive mice under basal conditions, across the life span. We hypothesized that mice display similar sex- and age-related differences in arterial pressure and renal function to humans. Methods: Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and circadian rhythm of arterial pressure were measured over 3 days via radiotelemetry, in 3- and 5-month-old (adult) and 14- and 18-month-old (aged) FVB/N and in 5-month-old (adult) C57BL/6 male and female normotensive mice. In FVB/N mice, albuminuria from 24-h urine samples as well as body, heart, and kidney weights were measured at each age. Results: Twenty-four-hour MAP was greater in males than females at 3, 5, and 14 months of age. A similar sex difference in arterial pressure was observed in C57BL/6 mice at 5 months of age. In FVB/N mice, 24-h MAP increased with age, with females displaying a greater increase between 3 and 18 months of age than males, such that MAP was no longer different between the sexes at 18 months of age. A circadian pattern was observed in arterial pressure, heart rate, and locomotor activity, with values for each greater during the active (night/dark) than the inactive (day/light) period. The night-day dip in MAP was greater in males and increased with age in both sexes. Albuminuria was greater in males than females, increased with age in both sexes, and rose to a greater level in males than females at 18 months of age. Conclusions: Arterial pressure and albuminuria increase in an age- and sex-specific manner in mice, similar to patterns observed in humans. Thus, mice represent a useful model for studying age and sex differences in the regulation of arterial pressure and renal disease. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease may lead to new and better-tailored therapies for men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages15
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2016


  • Aging
  • Arterial pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Menopause
  • Renal function
  • Sex

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