The role of gravity in the evolution of mammalian blood pressure

White, Craig R. and Seymour, Roger S. (2014) The role of gravity in the evolution of mammalian blood pressure. Evolution, 68 3: 901-908. doi:10.1111/evo.12298

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Author White, Craig R.
Seymour, Roger S.
Title The role of gravity in the evolution of mammalian blood pressure
Journal name Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-3820
Publication date 2014-01-02
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/evo.12298
Open Access Status
Volume 68
Issue 3
Start page 901
End page 908
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Understanding of the factors involved in determining the level of central arterial blood pressure in mammals has been clouded by inappropriate allometric analyses that fail to account for phylogenetic relationships among species, and require pressure to approach 0 as body size decreases. The present study analyses systolic, mean arterial, and diastolic blood pressure in 47 species of mammal with phylogenetically informed techniques applied to two-parameter equations. It also sets nonlinear, three-parameter equations to the data to remove the assumption of the two-parameter power equation that the smallest animals must have negligible blood pressure. These analyses show that blood pressure increases with body size. Nonlinear analyses show that mean blood pressure increases from 93 mmHg in a 10 g mouse to 156 mmHg in a 4 tonne elephant. The scaling exponent of blood pressure is generally lower than, though not significantly different from, the exponent predicted on the basis of the expected scaling of the vertical distance between the head and the heart. This indicates that compensation for the vertical distance above the heart is not perfect and suggests that the pressure required to perfuse the capillaries at the top of the body may decrease in larger species.
Keyword Allometry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 2 JAN 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 12 Feb 2014, 00:23:41 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences