Influence of acute sleep deprivation on cardiovascular parameters in female zucker obese and lean rats


  • Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • Funding agencies: This work was supported by grants from the Associacão Fundo de Incentivo à Pesquisa (AFIP) and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (CEPID #98/14303-3). ST, MLA, CTB and RRC are recipients of fellowships from CNPq.



There is a reciprocal relationship between sleep duration and weight gain. However, the consequences of this relationship on the cardiovascular system over an entire life span are still not fully elucidated. We examined the effect of acute sleep deprivation (SD) on baroreflex sensitivity and blood pressure in Zucker rats of different ages.

Design and Methods:

Female lean and obese Zucker rats at 3, 6 and 15 months of age were assigned to SD or control (CTRL) groups. After a 6 h period of the SD procedure (6 h of gentle handling) or CTRL procedure (an equivalent period without handling), the animals were anesthetized for surgical catheterization of the femoral artery and vein. To evaluate the baroreflex sensitivity index, bolus infusions of phenylephrine (bradycardia response) and sodium nitroprusside (tachycardia response) were administered.


Obesity resulted in dysfunctional tachycardia responses at 3 months of age. At 6 and 15 months of age, both bradycardia and tachycardia responses were significantly lower in obese animals than those in lean animals. At 15 months of age, interactions among obesity, SD and aging produced the most marked effects on the cardiovascular system (increased mean arterial pressure and heart rate and decreased baroreflex sensitivity).


Therefore, these results suggest that there is no direct relationship between baroreflex imbalance and an increase in arterial pressure.