Sleep-related sympathovagal imbalance in SHR

Terry B J Kuo, Ching J. Lai, Fu Zen Shaw, Chi Wan Lai, Cheryl C H Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


The role of the autonomic nervous system in spontaneous hypertension during each stage of the sleep-wake cycle remains unclear. The present study attempted to evaluate the differences in cardiac autonomic modulations among spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), and Sprague-Dawley rats (SD) across sleep-wake cycles. Continuous power spectral analysis of electroencephalogram, electromyogram, and heart rate variability was performed in unanesthetized free moving rats during daytime sleep. Frequency-domain analysis of the stationary R-R intervals (RR) was performed to quantify the high-frequency power (HF), low-frequency power (LF)-to-HF ratio (LF/HF), and normalized LF (LF%) of heart rate variability. WKY and SD had similar mean arterial pressure, which is significantly lower than that of SHR during active waking, quiet sleep, and paradoxical sleep. Compared with WKY and SD, SHR had lower HF but similar RR, LF/HF, and LF% during active waking. During quiet sleep, SHR developed higher LF/HF and LF% in addition to lower HF. SHR ultimately exhibited significantly lower RR accompanied with higher LF/HF and LF% and lower HF during paradoxical sleep compared with WKY. We concluded that significant cardiac sympathovagal imbalance with an increased sympathetic modulation occurred in SHR during sleep, although it was less evident during waking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1170-H1176
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 55-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Heart rate variability
  • Paradoxical sleep
  • Quiet sleep
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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