The objective of this study was to determine if males with a deficient androgen receptor would develop hypertension when crossed with a hypertensive parent. Female King-Holtzman rats (n = 15), heterozygous for the testicular feminization (Tfm) gene, were crossed with male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), and blood pressure was measured weekly from 5-14 weeks in the F1 hybrid males. Approximately 50% of the F1 hybrid males were Tfm males and androgen receptor-deficient, and 50% were normal. Blood pressure in the parent King-Holtzman males, Tfms, and female rats was also followed for the same time period. The F1 normal male hybrids had a significantly higher (p < 0.05) systolic blood pressure than the Tfm hybrid males after 12 weeks (195 +/- 8 versus 170 +/- 8 mm Hg, respectively). Blood pressure in the male and Tfm Holtzman rats was 120 +/- 5 mm Hg and 110 +/- 6 mm Hg, respectively. Castration lowered blood pressure by 38 mm Hg in the hybrid males and 27 mm Hg in the Tfm hybrids. Female F1 hybrids also showed a pressure rise above that of female Holtzman controls (155 +/- 6 mm Hg versus 110 +/- 6 mm Hg, p < 0.01) but lower than the F1 males and Tfm hybrids. Ovariectomized females with testosterone implants did not show an elevation in blood pressure. Plasma electrolytes, norepinephrine, and cholesterol were not significantly different between normal and Tfm hybrid males. The results suggest that the presence of an androgen receptor and a testis-derived factor mediate the blood pressure rise in the hybrid males. A Y chromosome effect or sex-influenced locus may be involved since both the normal and Tfm males had significantly higher blood pressures than their female siblings.
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