2014 年 3 巻 3 号 p. 317-325
Neurogenic hypertension, the primary form of essential hypertension, is one of the most common diseases worldwide. Hypertension is a risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke; therefore, it is crucial to maintain arterial blood pressure (BP) within the normal range. Regular aerobic exercise at moderate intensities can lower basal BP, and is a recommended therapy to prevent or improve primary hypertension. However, the mechanisms underlying the anti-hypertensive effects of exercise remain unknown. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms for the anti-hypertensive effects of exercise training/therapy that are hypothesised from recent findings, including our own. In particular, we discuss the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) of the brainstem, which is involved in mechanisms underlying the manifestation of neurogenic hypertension. Moreover, the NTS may also be involved in the anti-hypertensive effects of exercise training. However, exercise training does not seem to improve causative genetic factors for neurogenic hypertension in the NTS. Nevertheless, exercise training may affect other mechanisms responsible for neuroactive ligand-receptor interactions within the NTS, which also regulate BP homeostasis. We hope this review will further enhance research in this and promote exercise habits that help delay or even prevent the progression of essential hypertension.