Hypertension plays major causative roles in development of cardiac failure and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Cardiac and renal involvements in hypertension and relevant pharmacological interventions have been extensively studied in our laboratories. Our findings demonstrated that aged spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) developed reduced coronary flow reserve, increased coronary vascular resistance and cardiac fibrosis, and impaired cardiac function. Moreover, aged SHR naturally developed glomerular hypertension and ischemia, proteinuria, and glomerular sclerosis and interstitial fibrosis. These naturally-occurring cardiac and renal involvements in aged SHR are very similar to these target organ changes in essential hypertension. Furthermore, we have been able to reproduce similar derangements in younger adult SHR by nitric oxide synthesis inhibition. These changes are identical to the pathophysiological alterations in heart and kidney found in old SHR as well as clinically. Antihypertensive therapeutic interventions provided cardiac and renal protection and, perhaps even prevention in the aged SHR and younger adult SHR with suppressed nitric oxide synthesis. Recent clinical trails have translated these pathophysiological observations demonstrating that angiotensin II inhibition affords remarkable cardiac and renal benefits to patients with essential hypertension. Thus, both the aged SHR as well as younger adult SHR with suppressed nitric oxide synthesis very closely mimic the cardiac and renal outcomes seen in patients with essential hypertension. They accordingly have become extremely useful experimental models of hypertensive heart disease and ESRD seen with severe nephrosclerosis. The latter hypertensive rat model with induced endothelial dysfunction is recommended enthusiastically for its foregoing as well as time-saving and economic values.
Keywords: Hypertension, cardiac failure, end-stage renal disease, experimental model