Stress and sodium hypertension in baboons: neuroendocrine and pharmacotherapeutic assessments

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Behavioral stress and high dietary salt have been reported to increase blood pressure additively in non-human primates. This study was designed to replicate this phenomenon and to assess neuroendocrine correlates and responses to two commonly used antihypertensives, a β-adrenoceptor blocker and a thiazide diuretic. High-salt intake (240 mmol sodium per day) and stress were administered for 9 weeks in adult baboons. Oral atenolol hydrochloride (50 mg, twice daily) or hydrochlorothiazide (25mg/day) was administered for 2 weeks each. In all four baboons, salt loading and stress increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) chronically by 14 mmHg, with increases in water intake, urine osmolality and excretion of sodium, decreases in levels of serum sodium, plasma renin activity and plasma vasopressin and no changes in urinary excretion of norepinephrine or epinephrine. Neither drug decreased SBP during ongoing high salt and stress. The results confirm the additive chronic effects of high-dietary salt intake and behavioral stress on blood pressure in non-human primates. The hypertension in this model is resistant to two antihypertensive drugs commonly used clinically.

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