Understanding the aetiology of hypertension

Project Details

It is known that sympathetic nerve activity is elevated in people with established hypertension. The work of S. Julius also proposes that a signature of elevated sympathetic activity is present in people as young as 5 years of age who subsequently develop hypertension in the middle age. Using a genetic model of hypertension, the Spontaneously Hypertensive rat, we demonstrated that sympathetic activity is elevated in very young animals – well before the development of hypertension (Simms A.E…..Allen A.M. Amplified respiratory-sympathetic coupling in the spontaneously hypertensive rat: does it contribute to hypertension? J Physiol 2009; 587: 597-610). This elevated activity is driven by the neural pathways that generate breathing activity and is termed central respiratory-sympathetic coupling. We are examining the pathways in the brain responsible for this altered respiratory-sympathetic coupling and attempting to determine whether this mechanism is a cause of hypertension in some people.

Research Group

Allen laboratory: Central cardiovascular regulation



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Biomedical Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Physiology

Unit / Centre

Allen laboratory: Central cardiovascular regulation