Variable reactive hyperemia in normotensive strains of rat

Academic Article


  • Previous studies from our laboratory report variation in nitric oxide (NO)-dependent arterial pressure within the same strain of normotensive Sprague-Dawley rat dependent upon the commercial vendor supplying the rats. Clinical assessment of endothelial NO activity and endothelial function in general has used postocclusion, flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Therefore, this study was conducted to determine whether the reactive hyperemic response was different between two normotensive strains from two different suppliers, Sprague-Dawley (SD) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats from Charles River (CR) and Harlan Laboratories (H), respectively. Rats were anesthetized and the femoral artery was occluded for 5 min, with femoral blood flow measured continuously by use of an ultrasonic perivascular flow probe. The average area under the reactive hyperemic response curve (3-min duration) was not different between SD rats from CR (80 ± 23 mL/min∙s; n = 6) and H (94 ± 16 mL/min∙s; n = 6). As previously reported, blood pressures were higher in the SD rats from H versus CR. WKY rats from both suppliers had significantly larger hyperemia; 371 ± 67 versus 281 ± 71 mL/min∙s (n = 5) for the CR and H WKY rats, respectively, but again, were not different between vendors. Blood pressures in WKY rats were similar between vendors. These results suggest that differences in NO bioactivity are not discernable with an adapted FMD protocol in the rat and that normotensive strains of rat can have large differences in reactive hyperemia despite having similar blood pressures.
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  • Heimlich JB; Pollock DM
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 6