Journal Article

Hypoxia Stress Test Reveals Exaggerated Cardiovascular Effects in Hypertensive Rats After Exposure to the Air Pollutant Acrolein

Christina M. Perez, Allen D. Ledbetter, Mehdi S. Hazari, Najwa Haykal-Coates, Alex P. Carll, Darrell W. Winsett, Daniel L. Costa and Aimen K. Farraj

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 132, issue 2, pages 467-477
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Hypoxia Stress Test Reveals Exaggerated Cardiovascular Effects in Hypertensive Rats After Exposure to the Air Pollutant Acrolein

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Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, especially in susceptible populations. Despite increased risk, adverse responses are often delayed and require additional stress tests to reveal latent effects of exposure. The goal of this study was to use an episode of “transient hypoxia” as an extrinsic stressor to uncover latent susceptibility to environmental pollutants in a rodent model of hypertension. We hypothesized that exposure to acrolein, an unsaturated aldehyde and mucosal irritant found in cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust, and power plant emissions, would increase cardiopulmonary sensitivity to hypoxia, particularly in hypertensive rats. Spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar Kyoto (normotensive) rats, implanted with radiotelemeters, were exposed once for 3h to 3 ppm acrolein gas or filtered air in whole-body plethysmograph chambers and challenged with a 10% oxygen atmosphere (10min) 24h later. Acrolein exposure increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing frequency, and minute volume in hypertensive rats and also increased the heart rate variability parameter LF, suggesting a potential role for increased sympathetic tone. Normotensive rats only had increased blood pressure during acrolein exposure. The hypoxia stress test after acrolein exposure revealed increased diastolic blood pressure only in hypertensive rats and increased minute volume and expiratory time only in normotensive rats. These results suggest that hypertension confers exaggerated sensitivity to air pollution and that the hypoxia stress test is a novel tool to reveal the potential latent effects of air pollution exposure.

Keywords: spontaneously hypertensive rat; hypoxia; acrolein; blood pressure.

Journal Article.  7882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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