In this webinar, Dr. Linda Hayward, associate professor of physiology at the University of Florida, describes her innovative research using Stellar telemetry to measure anxiety and hypertension in rats on an elevated plus maze to evaluate the interconnection of stress and cardiovascular function.
In her study, Dr. Hayward used two strains of rats. One was WKY, which is known to have high anxiety on the elevated plus maze, but has a reduced cardiovascular response to acute stress, for example during handling or restraint. The second strain was SHR, a hypertensive strain that has low anxiety but an exaggerated cardiovascular response to acute stress. Overall, she found WKY rats had higher mean arterial pressure and a higher level of anxiety during testing, and identified that changes in blood pressure correspond to behavioral measures of anxiety. She was also able to correlate the telemetry data with brain imaging (manganese-enhanced MRI) to determine which brain regions were involved in this coupling of behavioral and cardiovascular response.
Although blood pressure telemetry has been around since the ’80s, Stellar telemetry technology is unique because it does not incorporate an underlying receiver as part of the data collection/management protocol. All the data is recorded on the probe itself, and can be downloaded to any computer through a single antenna. Without the hardware requirement of a receiver, this novel telemetry technology opens the door to an enormously broad range of research applications which would have previously been cumbersome or simply impossible before. Other topics discussed in this webinar include the benefits of social housing, how to set up the telemetry equipment and associated software, and important data analysis procedures.