Maternal conditions are well known to affect fetal cardiovascular development. This study was designed to investigate in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the effects of maternal aldosterone suppression on the development of hypertension in the offspring. A sham procedure or a right adrenalectomy combined with cryodestruction of the zona glomerulosa of the left adrenal gland was performed on SHR females. The rats were mated and male offspring were implanted at 11-13 weeks of age with a PA-C40 remote monitoring device placed into the femoral artery to record cardiovascular parameters for 4 weeks. Systolic (mmHg), diastolic (mmHg), and mean blood pressure (mmHg), heart rate (beats per minute), and activity data was measured. Data was sorted by activity level, and parameters were compared to evaluate same age data points between freeze and sham groups. Continuous scatterplot with regression lines compared activity level versus mean pressure, pulse pressure, and heart rate for each of the four weeks of data collection. The slopes and elevations of the regression lines from the sham and frozen groups were compared using a two-way ANOVA. Reductions in maternal aldosterone concentrations in the adrenal frozen group led to changes in adult offspring hemodynamic profiles. The adult offspring of the adrenal frozen group were found to have an attenuated increase in mean pressure with activity during weeks 2 and 3, and an overall lower mean pressure during week 4. It appears that a difference in sympathetic activation was likely responsible for the differences between groups, and this fetal programming effect has not been observed with other maternal manipulations.


Penny Knoblich

Committee Member

Michael Bentley

Committee Member

Geoffrey Goellner

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences


Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



Rights Statement

In Copyright