Regulating blood pressure in the brain

March 3, 2023


The scientific paper, "Neurons of the median preoptic nucleus contribute to chronic angiotensin II-salt induced hypertension in the rat," by VBS Associate Professor John Collister, and his team was recently published in Physiological Reports.   

The CDC reports that nearly half of the adults in the US have high blood pressure, which is a major contributing factor to life-threatening health conditions like heart attack and stroke. This study illustrates by using a rat model to test whether median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) neurons, a cluster of nerves in the hypothalamus, helps direct the body’s blood pressure. Deciphering which parts of the brain regulate the body’s blood pressure could help scientists pin down more effective, lasting treatments for this widespread issue. 

These results confirm what an emerging body of work was suggesting: that the MnPO’s plays a vital role in the body’s blood pressure response in this model of hypertension. Collister explains, “In this way, we may be able to target future antibiotic and pro or prebiotic treatments for hypertension.” 

This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and was also highlighted on the CVM website, as well as the CVM Research Facebook page.

Categories: All news Faculty Research