ABSTRACT: The aim of this investigation was to evaluate sex differences in baroreflex and heart rate variability (HRV) dysfunction and indexes of end-organ damage in the TG(mRen2)27 (Ren2) rat, a model of renin overexpression and tissue renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system overactivation. Blood pressure (via telemetric monitoring), blood pressure variability [BPV; SD of systolic blood pressure (SBP)], spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity, HRV [HRV Triangular Index (HRV-TI), standard deviation of the average NN interval (SDNN), low and high frequency power (LF and HF, respectively), and Poincaré plot analysis (SD1, SD2)], and cardiovascular function (pressure-volume loop analysis and proteinuria) were evaluated in male and female 10-wk-old Ren2 and Sprague Dawley rats. The severity of hypertension was greater in Ren2 males (R2-M) than in Ren2 females (R2-F). Increased BPV, suppression of baroreflex gain, decreased HRV, and associated end-organ damage manifested as cardiac dysfunction, myocardial remodeling, elevated proteinuria, and tissue oxidative stress were more pronounced in R2-M compared with R2-F. During the dark cycle, HRV-TI and SDNN were negatively correlated with SBP within R2-M and positively correlated within R2-F; within R2-M, these indexes were also negatively correlated with end-organ damage [left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH)]. Furthermore, within R2-M only, LVH was strongly correlated with indexes of HRV representing predominantly vagal (HF, SD1), but not sympathetic (LF, SD2), variability. These data demonstrated relative protection in females from autonomic dysfunction and end-organ damage associated with elevated blood pressure in the Ren2 model of hypertension.
AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 08/2011; 301(4):H1540-50. · 3.71 Impact Factor