Date: Friday, December 2, 2016
Small resistance mesenteric arteries are important in blood pressure regulation. Periarterial sympathetic nerves co-release norepinephrine and adenosine triphosphate, which activate arterial smooth muscle adrenergic and purinergic receptors to cause vasoconstriction. Premenopausal women have lower blood pressure than age-matched men. Sex differences in blood pressure control are not well understood. Additionally, current therapeutics for high blood pressure do not take sex differences into consideration resulting in poor outcomes. We hypothesized that male rats have greater neurogenic vasoconstriction compared to female rats due to greater neurotransmitter release per action potential, increased vascular reactivity and lack of vasomodulation by estrogen in males. My project will help to understand potential differences in blood pressure regulation in male and female rats as the basis for sex differences in the hypertension frequency. By doing so, I hope to identify potential sex-specific drug targets for the treatment of hypertension in humans.