The present study was designed to investigate the effects of low-dose ketanserin on BPV (blood pressure variability), BRS (baroreflex sensitivity) and organ damage in SHR (spontaneously hypertensive rats). Ketanserin was mixed in rat chow at an estimated dose of 0.1 mg·kg−1 of body weight·day−1. SHR were treated for 4 months. BP (blood pressure) was then recorded continuously for 24 h in a conscious state. After determination of BRS, rats were killed for organ damage evaluation. It was found that long-term treatment with low-dose ketanserin did not lower BP levels, but significantly decreased BPV, enhanced BRS and reduced organ damage in SHR. Multiple regression analysis showed that the decrease in left ventricular hypertrophy was most closely correlated (or associated) with the increase in BRS, whereas the decrease in aortic hypertrophy was most closely associated with the decrease in diastolic BPV and the amelioration in renal lesion, with the increase in BRS and the decrease in diastolic BPV. In conclusion, low-dose ketanserin produces organ protection independently of its BP-lowering action in SHR, and this organ protection was importantly attributable to the enhancement of BRS and decrease in BPV.

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