Br J Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/bph.15650. Online ahead of print.
Elevated blood pressure (BP), or hypertension, is the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As a multifactorial and systemic disease that involves multiple organs and systems, hypertension remains a challenging disease to study. Models of hypertension are invaluable to support the discovery of the specific genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying essential hypertension, as well as to test new possible treatments to lower BP. Rodent models have proven to be an invaluable tool for advancing the field. In this review, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of rodent models of hypertension through a systems approach. We highlight the ways how target organs and systems including the kidneys, vasculature, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), immune system and the gut microbiota influence BP in each rodent model. We also discuss often overlooked hypertensive conditions such as pulmonary hypertension and hypertensive-pregnancy disorders, providing an important resource for researchers.
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