Hypertension (HT) is one of the major diseases associated with the circulatory system and remains a public health problem with a high rate of prevalence in the adult population in the USA. The pressure natriuresis mechanism which is Na+ excretion in respond to rise in blood pressure acts as a long-term regulator of arterial blood pressure. Recent studies have demonstrated that impairment of this long-term pressure natriuresis mechanism is involved in hypertension (HT) and many other renal disorders. Exercise is a nonpharmacological treatment to help control HT, and exercise has a beneficial effect on vascular health, endothelial functions, arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and VO₂ max (49). Since exercise is beneficial to hypertensive patients, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and pressure natriuresis. The goal of this study was to determine if voluntary exercise in young spontaneously hypertensive female and male rats altered pressure natriuresis. Forty 4-week-old SHR (Twenty female and Twenty male) were randomly assigned into two treatment groups, exercise and sedentary. After 8 weeks, urine was collected during baseline, lowered, and raised renal perfusion pressures (RPPs). Urinary Na excretion was measured and pressure natriuresis curves (Na+ excretion vs RPP) were generated for each group. Exercise in female spontaneously hypertensive rats( SHRs) significantly improved the pressure natriuresis relationship, with the exercised female rats producing a greater increase in sodium excretion for any given increase in RPP. However, exercise in the males had no significant effect on the pressure natriuresis relationship. This study suggests that sex differences may play an important role in long-term pressure regulation and exercise performance in SHRs. Further understanding of the mechanisms behind this beneficial effect of exercise on pressure natriuresis may support the development of new therapeutics for hypertension.


Penny Knoblich

Committee Member

Michael Bentley

Committee Member

Michael Minicozzi

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study



Biological Sciences


Science, Engineering and Technology



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In Copyright