- Koch, L G; Britton, S L; Barbato, J C; Rodenbaugh, D W; DiCarlo, S E
- The Dark Aouti (DA) inbred strain of rats has superior aerobic treadmill running capacity compared with the Copenhagen (COP) strain of inbred rats. This difference in aerobic capacity provides a model to explore the genetic basis of variation in this trait. The present study evaluated intermediate phenotypic differences between 10 male COP inbred rats and 10 male DA inbred rats that might contribute to the difference in aerobic capacity between the strains. Five autonomically regulated cardiovascular variables were evaluated during rest or exercise by measuring the response to autonomic antagonists. The DA rat had enhanced autonomic function for the regulation of peripheral blood flow and cardiac output. Specifically, at rest the DA rats had significantly more sympathetic (123 +/- 8 vs. 99 +/- 7 beats/min) and parasympathetic (35 +/- 5 vs. 12 +/- 3 beats/min) tonus for heart rate control and more sympathetic support of blood pressure (70 +/- 7 vs. 38 +/- 6 mmHg) compared with the COP rats. During three graded levels of treadmill exercise the DA rats had higher blood pressures (16% on average) and higher heart rates (4% on average) relative to the COP rats. In addition, the DA rats had a 27% greater heart weight-to-body weight ratio compared with the COP strain of rats (3.63 +/- 0.08 vs. 2.85 +/- 0.07 g/kg). All five of these intermediate phenotypes could participate as variables causative of the difference in treadmill running capacity between the DA and COP strains of rats.
- Physiological genomics Journal
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