Renal afferent arteriole in the spontaneously hypertensive rat

Vincent H. Gattone, Andrew P. Evan, Lynn R. Willis, Friedrich C. Luft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations


We conducted morphometric studies on the afferent arteriole of spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats to gain a better understanding of its changes with the development of hypertension. Differences may be related to the SHRs' increased renal vascular resistance. Methacrylate vascular casts were made of the renal vasculature after perfusion fixation with glutaraldehyde. These vascular casts were then examined and measurements made with the scanning electron microscope. Results from this examination of the scanning electron microscope demonstrated a smaller afferent arteriolar diameter in the SHR, compared to the WKY, for both the inner and outer cortical glomeruli. This difference was seen in the 6-week-old SHR, prior to a statistically different blood pressure from the WKY controls, as well as in the 12-week-old hypertensive SHR. However, this afferent diameter difference between rat strains was more pronounced in rats at 12 weeks of age. The tapering of the afferent arteriole (difference between proximal and distal afferent diameters) was greater in the 12-week-old SHR than in the age-matched WKY or 6-week-old SHR. We conclude that the smaller caliber afferent arterioles of the SHR may predispose and play a role in the pathogenesis of the subsequent hypertension. The increased afferent arteriolar tapering seen in the hypertensive SHR relates to the already present increased blood pressure. Wall thickness/ radius ratios are not different between rat strains (SHR and WKY) at either 6 or 12 weeks of age. These results suggest increased vascular constriction or hypoplastic vessels as the cause of the smaller caliber vessels in the SHR rather than increased wall thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983


  • Morphometrics
  • Renal afferent arterioles
  • SHR
  • Vascular casts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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