The pathogenesis of hypertension in humans is not fully understood. This disease of persistent elevation of blood pressure is a multifactorial combination of genetic and environmental factors. To better understand the specific mechanisms involved, as well as to research treatments for prevention of hypertension, various animal models have been developed to mimic the hypertensive responses seen in humans.
Historically, the preferred small animal model for hypertension research has been the rat. This may be due to the amount of published physiological data, relative small size, and robust responses seen in some genetic strains. Because of the polygenic nature of hypertension, numerous rat models have been developed including selective bred homozygous hypertensive rat strains (e.g. spontaneously hypertensive rat [SHR] and Dahl salt sensitive [Dahl SS]) and outbred strains (e.g. Sprague Dawley) to elucidate the desired hypertensive phenotype. As the form of hypertension can differ between strains, researchers need to not only be aware of the form of hypertension that the individual strain exhibits but also the impact that a particular type of diet may have on the phenotypic response. To read more, see our Product Literature.
*For those requiring a matched control diet, be sure to use a purified ingredient matched diet rather than a grain-based diet.