Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Matthew Zahner

Thesis Professor Department

Health Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Sean Fox


Anesthesia affects the central nervous system and can suppress cardiovascular activity. In this study, we compared two anesthetics, urethane and alpha-chloralose, to better understand their effect on sympathetic control of blood pressure, as well as how they would affect baroreceptor response and blood pressure in adult rats. To do this we performed baroreceptor tests in adult rats under isoflurane anesthesia and then either urethane (I.V. 1.25 g/kg, n=2) or alpha-chloralose (100 mg/kg, n=2). We found that baroreceptor responses were not significantly different between urethane or alpha-chloralose anesthesia. However, significant depression of baseline blood pressure occurred under alpha-chloralose anesthesia compared with urethane. Additionally, we observed significant elevation of baseline renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) occurred under urethane anesthesia. Ultimately, our findings suggest that both urethane and alpha-chloralose provided sufficient induction of anesthesia without significantly modifying baroreceptor response. However, since urethane significantly raised baseline sympathetic nerve activity, it should be avoided in studies where raised sympathetic activity could confound with the test results. alpha-chloralose significantly lowered baseline blood pressure by nearly 30%, and its use should be avoided in studies where lowered blood pressure may confound the results.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.