Department of Experimental Hypertension

Head of Department

Dr. Iveta Bernátová

RNDr. Iveta Bernátová, DrSc.

02 / 3229 6013

ORCID 0000-0002-6120-706X


The Department of Experimental Hypertension focuses on an integrative and transdisciplinary approach to identify the causes and behavioral, functional, metabolic and structural consequences of high blood pressure using animal models of different cardiovascular genotypes, ages and sexes, focusing on:

  • research on the role of acute and chronic stress in the development of chronic non-communicable cardiometabolic diseases, especially hypertension and liver diseases
  • research of pulmonary hypertension 
  • research on behavioral changes related to changes in blood pressure
  • research on blood pressure regulation mechanisms in vivo and ex vivo
  • research into the mechanisms of vascular wall function and endothelial (dys)function
  • research on the regulatory function of nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, iron, α1AMP kinase and nuclear factors NRF-2 and PPAR-gamma in chronic non-communicable diseases
  • research on age-related changes in blood pressure regulation, in the function of the vascular wall and selected regulatory pathways
  • research on sex differences in blood pressure regulation and vascular wall function
  • research on the prevention and treatment of hypertension using nitric oxide bioavailability modulators, natural and synthetic antioxidants, iron oxide nanoparticles, NRF-2 and PPAR-gamma modulators
  • research on the influence of selected substances on angiogenesis using ex ovo model
  • research on changes in cell signaling related to blood pressure regulation and chronic non-communicable diseases

Experimental models

  • models of human hypertension and prehypertension (spontaneously hypertensive rats, borderline hypertensive rats)
  • models of cardiometabolic diseases (Zucker fa/fa rats, hypertriglyceridemic rats)
  • models of acute (air jet) and chronic (crowding) stress
  • model of nitric oxide-deficient hypertension hypertension
  • chicken chorioallantoic membrane model as an alternative method for studying angiogenesis
  • cell models of primary cultures of cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells

Laboratory techniques

  • non-invasive measurement of blood pressure by the tail-cuff plethysmography
  • invasive measurement of blood pressure in the carotid artery in conscious rats
  • behavioral tests (open field test, elevated plus maze)
  • measurement of vascular smooth muscle cell function and endothelial dysfunction using a wire myograph in small and medium-sized arteries in isometric conditions
  • determination of nitric oxide production by conversion of [3H]-arginine
  • determination of superoxide using the fluorescence method
  • Western blot, quantitative real time PCR
  • colorimetric methods
  • methods of chorioallantoic membrane in ovo and ex ovo
  • methods of culturing isolated cells
  • selected biochemical analyzes from blood plasma using a biochemical analyzer
  • confocal microscopy


  • School of Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Center of Cardiology – Cardiology 1, Johannes Guteberg University Hospital, Mainz, Germany
  • Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  • Physiological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Institute of Measurement, v.v.i., Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics v.v.i., Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia