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07.06.2016 | Ausgabe 2/2017

Cardiovascular Toxicology 2/2017

Low-level Chronic Lead Exposure Impairs Neural Control of Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Rats

Zeitschrift:
Cardiovascular Toxicology > Ausgabe 2/2017
Autoren:
Maylla Ronacher Simões, Silvio César Preti, Bruna Fernandes Azevedo, Jonaína Fiorim, David D. Freire Jr., Emilia Polaco Covre, Dalton Valentim Vassallo, Leonardo dos Santos

Abstract

Lead (Pb) induces adverse effects when it chronically accumulates in the body, including effects on the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Wistar rats were exposed to lead acetate for 30 days (first dose 4 µg/100 g followed by 0.05 µg/100 g/day, i.m.) to investigate the cardiovascular system impact on the autonomic control. The femoral artery and vein were catheterised to perform hemodynamic evaluations in awake rats: heart rate variability (HRV), baroreflex sensitivity, cardiopulmonary reflex and hemodynamic responses to vagal and sympathetic pharmacological blockade. Rats exposed to Pb exhibited a higher blood pressure and reduced HRV in the time domain when compared to the saline-injected group. Spectral analysis of the HRV in the frequency-domain showed an augmented low-frequency component of the spectrum. Methylatropine and atenolol administration suggest increased sympathetic tone and reduced vagal tone on the control of heart rate. Chronic Pb exposure decreased the sensitivity of the baroreflex without significantly changing the cardiopulmonary reflex. This study demonstrated for the first time in an animal model of a controlled, low-dose chronic lead exposure that cardiovascular changes, such as arterial hypertension, are accompanied by impaired autonomic control of the cardiovascular system, as characterised by reduced baroreflex sensitivity and a sympathovagal imbalance.

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