An improved strategy for evaluating the extent of chronic arterial baroreceptor denervation in conscious rats

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2010 Nov;43(11):1062-75. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2010007500097. Epub 2010 Oct 1.


There is no index or criterion of aortic barodenervation, nor can we differentiate among rats that have suffered chronic sham, aortic or sino-aortic denervation. The objective of this study was to develop a procedure to generate at least one quantitative, reproducible and validated index that precisely evaluates the extent of chronic arterial barodenervation performed in conscious rats. Data from 79 conscious male Wistar rats of about 65-70 days of age with diverse extents of chronic arterial barodenervation and used in previous experiments were reanalyzed. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) and the heart rate (HR) of all rats were measured systematically before (over 1 h) and after three consecutive iv bolus injections of phenylephrine (PHE) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Four expressions of the effectiveness of barodenervation (MAP lability, PHE ratio, SNP ratio, and SNP-PHE slope) were assessed with linear fixed models, three-level average variance, average separation among levels, outlier box plot analysis, and overlapping graphic analysis. The analysis indicated that a) neither MAP lability nor SNP-PHE slope was affected by the level of chronic sodium intake; b) even though the Box-Cox transformations of both MAP lability [transformed lability index (TLI)] and SNP-PHE slope [transformed general sensitivity index (TGSI), {((3-(ΔHR(SNP)-ΔHR(PHE)/ΔMAP(SNP)-ΔMAP(PHE)))(-0.4)-1)/-0.04597}] could be two promising indexes, TGSI proved to be the best index; c) TLI and TGSI were not freely interchangeable indexes for this purpose. TGSI ranges that permit differentiation between sham (10.09 to 11.46), aortic (8.40 to 9.94) and sino-aortic (7.68 to 8.24) barodenervated conscious rats were defined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / innervation*
  • Aorta / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Consciousness*
  • Denervation / methods*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Male
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Phenylephrine / pharmacology
  • Pressoreceptors / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Nitroprusside
  • Phenylephrine