[Frontiers in Bioscience E2, 495-503, January 1, 2010]
Cardiovascular responses to cold exposure
1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA, 2Chongqin Medical University, Chongqin, China
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The prevalence of hypertension is increased in winter and in cold regions of the world. Cold temperatures make hypertension worse and trigger cardiovascular complications (stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure, etc.). Chronic or intermittent exposure to cold causes hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in animals. The purpose of this review is to provide the recent advances in the mechanistic investigation of cold-induced hypertension (CIH). Cold temperatures increase the activities of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The SNS initiates CIH via the RAS. Cold exposure suppresses the expression of eNOS and formation of NO, increases the production of endothelin-1 (ET-1), up-regulates ETA receptors, but down-regulates ETB receptors. The roles of these factors and their relations in CIH will be reviewed.