PublicationsDifferential Fractal and Circadian Patterns in Motor Activity in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats at the Stage of Prehypertension
One possible pathological mechanism underlying hypertension and its related health consequences is dysfunction of the circadian system-a network of coupled circadian clocks that generates and orchestrates rhythms of ≈24 h in behavior and physiology. To better understand the role of circadian function during the development of hypertension, circadian regulation of motor activity is investigated in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) before the onset of hypertension and in their age-matched controls-Wistar Kyoto rats (WKYs). Two complementary properties in locomotor activity fluctuations are examined to assessthe multiscale regulatory function of the circadian control network: 1) rhythmicity at ≈24 h and 2) fractal patterns-similar temporal correlation at different time scales (≈0.5-8 h). Compared to WKYs, SHRs have more stable and less fragmented circadian activity rhythms but the changes in the rhythms (e.g., period and amplitude) from constant dark to light conditions are reduced or opposite. SHRs also have altered fractal activity patterns, displaying activity fluctuations with excessive regularity at small timescales that are linked to rigid physiological states. These different rhythmicity/fractal patterns and their different responses to light in SHRs indicate that an altered circadian function may be involved in the development of hypertension.
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