Effect of chronic treatment with clonidine and spironolactone on cold-induced elevation of blood pressure

Pharmacology. 1991;43(4):173-86. doi: 10.1159/000138844.


The present study was designed to determine whether antihypertensive agents known to affect the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system might affect the elevation of blood pressure induced by chronic exposure to cold. Spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor blocker, was added to the food and administered to rats chronically exposed to cold. In addition, clonidine, and alpha 2-adrenergic agonist and inhibitor of renin secretion, was administered to another group of cold-exposed rats by daily intraperitoneal injection. A warm-adapted and a cold-treated control group were also used. Chronic administration of spironolactone prevented the development of hypertension but failed to prevent other adaptive physiological changes characteristically occurring during exposure to cold and seen in the cold-treated control rats. Thus, increased weight of the heart, kidneys, adrenals and brown adipose tissue, increased dipsogenic responsiveness to angiotensin II, increased urinary outputs of norepinephrine and epinephrine, and increased food and water consumption were observed in all rats, treated and untreated, during exposure to cold. Similarly, daily injection of clonidine attenuated the elevation of blood pressure but also failed to prevent the other adaptive physiological changes characteristic of cold. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the RAA system plays a role in the development of the cold-induced elevation of blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Clonidine / pharmacology*
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Epinephrine / urine
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / urine
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Renin / blood
  • Spironolactone / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Urination / drug effects


  • Angiotensin II
  • Spironolactone
  • Aldosterone
  • Renin
  • Clonidine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine