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Am J Physiol. 1997 Feb;272(2 Pt 2):H1053-61.

Cardiovascular indexes in the mouse at rest and with exercise: new tools to study models of cardiac disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, California 94305, USA.


Manipulations of the murine genome that alter cardiovascular function have created the need for methods to study cardiovascular physiology in genetically altered animals in vivo. We adapted chronic physiological measurement techniques to the nonanesthetized, nonrestrained murine model, established strain-specific cardiovascular and metabolic norms, and evaluated responses to anesthesia, exercise, and adrenergic stimulation. Anesthesia resulted in alterations in heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and O2 consumption (V(O2)) and CO2 production (V(CO2)) for up to 6 h postoperatively. There were significant interstrain differences in resting values of HR and BP Graded treadmill exercise resulted in linear increases in HR, V(O2), V(CO2), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) similar to those seen in larger species. Response to beta-adrenergic stimulation showed a classic sigmoidal dose-response curve; however, there was very little tachycardiac response to vagal blockade, indicating low resting vagal tone. This study demonstrates the feasibility of performing chronic cardiovascular measurements in nonanesthetized mice and stresses the importance of allowing for anesthetic recovery and strain variability. Murine cardiovascular responses to exercise can be reliably measured and are qualitatively similar to those in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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