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Sural nerve involvement in experimental hypertension: morphology and morphometry in male and female normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR)

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-13-24

Keywords: Sural nerve, Morphometry, Myelinated fibers, Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat, Gender differences

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Abstract:

Significant differences were observed for the myelinated fiber number and density, comparing different genders of WKY and SHR. Also, significant differences for the morphological (thickening of the endoneural blood vessel walls and lumen reduction) and morphometric (myelinated fibers diameter and G ratio) parameters of myelinated fibers were identified. Morphological exam of the myelinated fibers suggested the presence of a neuropathy due to hypertension in both SHR genders.These results indicate that hypertension altered important morphometric parameters related to nerve conduction of sural nerve in hypertensive animals. Moreover the comparison between males and females of WKY and SHR allows the conclusion that the morphological and morphometric parameters of sural nerve are not gender related. The morphometric approach confirmed the presence of neuropathy, mainly associated to the small myelinated fibers. In conclusion, the present study collected evidences that the high blood pressure in SHR is affecting the sural nerve myelinated fibers.The sural nerve in rats is one of the most distal sensory nerves to the foot and contains a small percentage of motor fibers for the intrinsic muscles of the lateral fingers. It is the most common nerve used for investigating neuropathies, not only in humans but also in experimental models. Nevertheless, its morphology was not yet completely investigated in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), as well as in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), first inbred from WKY, are considered a good experimental model of human essential hypertension [1,2]. Hypertension is a main risk factor for stroke and vascular dementia and may cause important changes to the cerebrovascular tree, turning the brain more susceptible to infarcts, microaneurysms and ischemia [3]. In spite of the well documented influence of hypertension on the brain, data on the sensitivity of peripheral nerves in hypertension is scar

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