Archive for May 2020

Women develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at twice the rate of men, and women with PTSD are at higher risk for developing hypertension. Yet little research has been done to date investigating the mechanisms mediating the link between PTSD and cardiovascular disease in women. The study by Yoo et al. seeks to change that. Associate Editor Donal O’Leary (Wayne State University School of Medicine) interviews lead author Qi Fu (The Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas) and expert Adam Case (University of Nebraska Medical Center) about the groundbreaking and clinically-relevant study by Fu and co-authors. The authors showed for the first time that women with PTSD had a greater pressor response during the cold pressor test compared with healthy women. What insights did Fu and collaborators uncover when they compared results from traditional methods to quantify integrated nerve signals, and a novel wavelet-based technique used to identify differences in MSNA responses to cold pressor test between women with PTSD and healthy women? Do Fu and Case anticipate that the current COVID-19 pandemic, while undeniably tragic, may eventually open new avenues of discovery for how women with PTSD differ from healthy counterparts and men? Listen and learn.


Jeung-Ki Yoo, Mark B. Badrov, Mu Huang, Ryan A. Bain, Raymond P. Dorn, Elizabeth H. Anderson, Jessica L. Wiblin, Alina Suris, J. Kevin Shoemaker, Qi Fu Abnormal sympathetic neural recruitment patterns and hemodynamic responses to cold pressor test in women with posttraumatic stress disorder Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 27, 2020. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00684.2019

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Behind the Bench Episode 4

In this episode of Behind the Bench with AJP-Heart and Circ hosted by Lisandra de Castro Bras (East Carolina University) and Jonathan Kirk (Loyola University Chicago), we talk with Charlotte Usselman, Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University. Charlotte’s recently published article is a culmination of research that began in the summer of 2016 during her post-doc at the John B. Pierce Laboratory at Yale School of Medicine. One year into the project, Charlotte was offered a position at McGill, which she postponed for 6 months to finish collecting data at Yale. In 2018, she focused heavily on getting her new lab up and running, and did not focus on her preeclampsia research. Charlotte’s story is living proof that things don’t always go as planned, much like having a preeclamptic pregnancy. Sometimes our lives outside of work are hard, even painful, and this certainly informs how we move forward personally and professionally. But a collision of timing can sometimes result in unexpected success. How? Listen.


Charlotte W. Usselman, Tessa E. Adler, Yasmine Coovadia, Cheryl Leone, Michael J. Paidas, Nina S. Stachenfeld A recent history of preeclampsia is associated with elevated central pulse wave velocity and muscle sympathetic outflow Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published March 3, 2020. DOI: ajpheart.00578.2019

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What are the best practices for animal models of exercise training? Associate Editor Mario Delmar (New York University) kickstarts a conversation with expert physiologists David Poole (Kansas State University), Timothy Musch (Kansas State University), Steven Copp (Kansas State University), Michael Sturek (Indiana University), Donal O’Leary (Wayne State University), and our own Editor in Chief Irv Zucker (University of Nebraska Medical Center) about the new Guidelines in Cardiovascular Research article by Poole et al. This landmark Guidelines article is designed to provide researchers with comprehensive information as they navigate selecting the most appropriate animal species and exercise paradigm to use in their exercise studies. As Tim Musch points out, “Exercise tests are many times the best strategy for determining the presence and severity of disease.” As the authors explain, animal models offer researchers the ability to control for disease severity and duration, confounding drug treatments, invasive procedures, as well as acute and chronic exercise interventions. We cover rat, mouse, dog, pig, and rabbit exercise training, and discuss everything from which incentive (dark chocolate or cocoa puffs?) rats prefer to thoroughbred racehorses! Listen now.


David C. Poole, Steven W. Copp, Trenton D. Colburn, Jesse C. Craig, David L. Allen, Michael Sturek, Donal S. O’Leary, Irving H. Zucker, Timothy I. Musch Guidelines for animal exercise and training protocols for cardiovascular studies Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 21, 2020. DOI:

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High fructose consumption is associated with metabolic syndrome, but the mechanisms are not well understood. Listen as Associate Editor Fabio Recchia (Temple University and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna) interviews lead author An Huang (New York Medical College) and content expert Zsolt Bagi (Medical College of Georgia) about the new study by Froogh et al, which used an animal model to test the hypothesis that a high fructose diet elicits a chymase-dependent increase in angiotensin II production and oxidative stress. In this technical tour de force of a podcast, we unpack the complexities of EET as a protective factor against oxidative stress. Listen as our experts discuss metabolic syndrome in the context of COVID-19, as well as the potential clinical translation of chymase and soluble epoxide hydrolase as therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.


Ghezal Froogh, Sharath Kandhi, Roopa Duvvi, Yicong Le, Zan Weng, Norah Alruwaili, Jonathan O. Ashe, Dong Sun, An Huang The contribution of chymase-dependent formation of ANG II to cardiac dysfunction in metabolic syndrome of young rats: roles of fructose and EETs Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 2, 2020. DOI: ajpheart.00633.2019

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We know that blood pressure increases with age, and that a large part of the global population takes at least one blood pressure lowering medication. Could acute leg heating be used as a non-pharmacological therapy to lower blood pressure in aged adults? In our latest podcast, Associate Editor Nisha Charkoudian (U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine) interviews lead author Steven Romero (University of North Texas Health Science Center) and expert Charlotte Usselman (McGill University) about the new study by Engelland et al. Romero and co-authors examined the neurovascular mechanisms through which acute isolated leg heating reduced arterial blood pressure in an older cohort of healthy adults compared to healthy younger adults. While sympathetic nerve activity did not differ from preheat to recovery in aged adults, this group experienced a marked reduction in blood pressure. Does this response vary by sex or is neurovascular transduction altered on an acute time scale? Listen to find out the answers to these questions as we cover this hot topic.


Rachel E. Engelland, Holden W. Hemingway, Olivia G. Tomasco, Albert H. Olivencia-Yurvati, Steven A. Romero Neural control of blood pressure is altered following isolated leg heating in aged humans Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 2, 2020. DOI:

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