Effects of hypertension on renal and hindquarter vascular reactivity in vivo and in vitro
Hypertension is one of the most common conditions, with the number of sufferers projected to reach 1.56 billion individuals by 2025. Particular vascular regions have been implicated in blood pressure control and the important blood vessels involved in this control are the small arterioles, often called resistance (to blood flow) vessels. However, vascular responsiveness to physiological factors and exogenous substances (e.g. antihypertensive drugs) are not always uniform across these resistance vessels. Moreover, as hypertension progresses, vascular beds undergo aberrant structural changes to varying extents, further altering the local properties and functional responses in each region; these may explain the ineffectiveness of antihypertensive therapies in some patients. Characterisation of the local properties of various resistance vessels in normotensive and hypertensive settings will enhance our understanding of blood pressure control and assist the development of more effective therapies. The renal vasculature is of particular interest as the kidneys regulate blood flow and blood volume. The hindquarter vasculature is representative of a skeletal muscle vascular bed and is controlled by factors that are somewhat different to the kidney due to the differing requirements of muscle. In chronic hypertension, there is often concomitant peripheral vascular disease in lower limbs, which alters vascular responsiveness. This work will examine hindquarter and renal haemodynamics under a range of conditions in vivo, and isolated renal arterioles in vitro. The contribution of T-type voltage-operated calcium channels to rat renal vascular tone will also be functionally characterised.
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