High salt diet increases the pressor response to stress in female, but not male ETB-receptor-deficient rats

Joshua S. Speed, Gerard D’Angelo, Paul A. Wach, Jennifer C Sullivan, Jennifer S. Pollock, David M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Acute stress in both rodents and humans causes a transient rise in blood pressure associated with an increase in plasma endothelin-1 (ET-1). High salt (HS) intake also increases ET-1 production, and interestingly, blunts the pressor response to acute air jet stress in rats. We previously reported that female rats lacking functional ETBreceptors everywhere except sympathetic nerves (ETBdef) had a greater degree of hypertension in response to a HS diet compared to their male counterparts when measured by the tail cuff method. However, we now report that salt-induced hypertension is not different between sexes when measured by telemetry. Therefore, additional experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that female ETBdef rats are more sensitive to acute stress when on a HS diet. The pressor response, measured by telemetry, to acute air jet stress was similar between male transgenic control (Tg control) and ETB def rats following chronic HS intake. In contrast, female ETBdef rats had a significantly greater pressor response (about twofold higher) than female or male Tg control or male ETBdef rats maintained on HS, a finding that cannot be explained by increased vascular reactivity to ET-1 in female rats as we observed that male ETB def rats had a greater pressor response to i.v. infusion of ET-1 compared to females. Furthermore, HS feeding exacerbated the pressor response to ET-1 in both male and female ETB def rats. Given our previous studies demonstrating that the ETAreceptor functions to reduce the pressor response to acute stress, these findings further support a role for the ET receptor system in the pressor response to acute stress and that female rats have reduced ETAreceptor activity when on a HS diet compared to males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12326
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • Blood pressure
  • Endothelin-1
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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