Calcium antagonists decrease capillary wall damage in aging hypertensive rat brain

Eszter Farkas, Gineke I. De Jong, Etelka Apró, Jeanine I.H. Keuker, Paul G.M. Luiten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic hypertension during aging is a serious threat to the cerebral vasculature. The larger brain arteries can react to hypertension with an abnormal wall thickening, a loss of elasticity and a narrowed lumen. However, little is known about the hypertension-induced alterations of cerebral capillaries. The present study describes ultrastructural alterations of the cerebrocortical capillary wall, such as thickening and collagen accumulation in the basement membrane of aging spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats. The ratio of cortical capillaries with such vascular pathology occurred significantly more frequently in hypertensive animals. Nimodipine and nifedipine are potential drugs to decrease blood pressure in hypertension but their beneficial effects in experimental studies reach beyond the control of blood pressure. Nimodipine and nifedipine can alleviate ischemia-related symptoms and improve cognition. These drugs differ in that nifedipine, but not nimodipine reduces blood pressure at the here-used concentration while both drugs can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Here we show that chronic treatment of aging hypertensive stroke-prone rats with nimodipine or nifedipine could preserve microvascular integrity in the cerebral cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2001


  • Calcium channel antagonist
  • Cerebral capillary
  • Cerebrovascular protection
  • Hypertension
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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