Journal of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 252–258

Neonatal intermittent hypoxia and hypertension


  • G. K. Soukhova
    • St. Petersburg State University
  • A. D. Nozdrachev
    • St. Petersburg State University
  • D. Gozal
    • Louisville University
Comparative and Ontogenic Physiology

DOI: 10.1134/S002209300902008X

Cite this article as:
Soukhova, G.K., Nozdrachev, A.D. & Gozal, D. J Evol Biochem Phys (2009) 45: 252. doi:10.1134/S002209300902008X


Obstructive apnea during sleep is accompanied by intermittent hypoxia (IH) leading to hypertension and other cardiovascular disturbances. A comparative evaluation of long-term effects of the neonatal IH on the cardiovascular functions was performed in normotensive Sprague-Dawley and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The newborn rats were placed for 30 days to conditions of IH (8% and 21% O2, alternating every 90 s for 12 h/day). Control groups of rats were constantly kept in normoxia. By 6 months, in the spontaneously hypertensive rats exposed to IH at the period of wakefulness there was a statistically significant increase (as compared with control) of the systolic (185.8 ± 1.7 and 169.9 ± 1.4 mm Hg, correspondingly, p < 0.010 and the diastolic pressure (96.2 ± 4.9 and 86.0 ± 2.6 mm Hg, correspondingly, p < 0.01). During sleep, the systolic and diastolic pressure in these rats was higher than in control animals by 10 mm Hg (p < 0.01) and 12 mm Hg (p < 0.01), its decrease during sleep being absent. In SHR submitted to IH there was an increase in the power ratio of the heart rate variability from 0.9 ± 0.15 to 1.5 ± 0.17, which indicates a shift of the sympathico-parasympathetic balance in this group towards predominance of the sympathetic component. In the Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to neonatal hypoxia, the above-indicated changes were not prominent. These peculiarities of the hypertensive rats allow establishing connection of the genetic factor with the sympathetic mechanism providing long-term consequences of the neonatal IH for the cardiovascular control in the SHR.

Key words

intermittent hypoxia hypertension spontaneously hypertensive rats

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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009