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Factors affecting cold-induced hypertension in rats. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1990 Dec;195(3):364-8



Pubmed ID





A 3- to 4-week exposure of rats to a cold environment (5 +/- 2 degrees C) induces hypertension, including elevation of systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures and cardiac (left ventricular) hypertrophy. The studies described here were designed to investigate some factors affecting both the magnitude and the time course for development of cold-induced hypertension. The objective of the first study was to determine whether there was an ambient temperature at which the cold-induced elevation of blood pressure did not occur. The objective of the second experiment was to determine whether body weight at the time of exposure to cold affected the magnitude and time course for development of hypertension. To assess the first objective, male rats were housed in a chamber whose temperature was maintained at 5 +/- 2 degrees C while others were housed in an identical chamber at 9 +/- 2 degrees C. After 7 days of exposure to cold, the rats exposed to the colder temperature had a significant elevation of blood pressure (140 +/- 2 mm Hg) compared with the group maintained at 9 degrees C (122 +/- 3 mm Hg). The rats exposed to 9 degrees C had no significant elevation of systolic blood pressure at either 27 or 40 days after initiation of exposure to cold. At the latter time, the temperature in the second chamber was reduced to 5 +/- 2 degrees C. By the 25th day of exposure to this ambient temperature, the rats had a significant increase in systolic blood pressure above their levels at 9 degrees C. Thus, there appears to be a threshold ambient temperature for elevation of blood pressure during exposure to cold. That temperature appears to lie somewhere between 5 and 9 degrees C. The second objective was assessed by placing rats varying in weight from approximately 250 to 430 g in air at 5 degrees C. There was a highly significant direct relationship (r = 0.96) between body weight at the time of introduction to cold and the number of days required to increase systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg above pre-cold exposure level. The third objective was to make an initial assessment of potential differences among strains of rats with respect to development of cold-induced hypertension. To this end, rats of the Fischer 344 strain were used. Systolic blood pressures of these rats also increased during chronic exposure to cold.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Author List

Shechtman O, Fregly MJ, Papanek PE


Paula Papanek PhD, MPT, LAT, FACSM Associate Professor & Director of Exercise Science in the Exercise Science & Physical Therapy department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Blood Pressure
Body Weight
Cold Temperature
Rats, Inbred F344
Rats, Inbred Strains
jenkins-FCD Prod-387 b0ced2662056320369de4e5cd5f21c218c03feb3