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Insights into blood pressure using rats

High blood pressure can be reduced by stimulating each side of the body and brain in separate ways, a new study in rats has shown.

A team at Alfaisal University, in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, with Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA, and Galvani Bioelectronics, UK, looked at rats with high blood pressure to better understand a key cardiovascular mechanism that controls fluctuations in blood pressure, called the arterial baroreflex.

The researchers found, and also reported in the Journal of Hypertension, that electrically stimulating the left or right sides (or both sides) of nerves involved in the baroreflex could reduce blood pressure and heart rate in the rats.

This could provide insights into how blood pressure is maintained, or can go wrong in disease, to potentially improve existing treatments for people with high blood pressure or heart failure.

Primary author Ibrahim Salman said, "At first glance, the body is bilateral and looks symmetrical on both sides. But this first impression is quite deceptive...”


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