Systolic blood pressure was measured in conscious male and female mice (15 WT and 9 Rsk2KO, ages 5 to 15 months) by tail cuff using an MC4000MSP system (Hatteras Instruments Inc.). Animals were conditioned by placing them on the apparatus platform for 15 min/day on two consecutive weeks, and “sham” measurements were taken. On the next two consecutive weeks, mice were placed on the platform daily, and at least 10 readings were taken. Conditioning and all blood pressure readings were performed at the same location, by the same operator, at the same time of day under quiet, low-light conditions. Two groups of 10- to 15-month-old and 5- to 7-month-old Rsk2KO mice and their WT littermates were used. There was no statistically significant difference in blood pressure values between the two groups, so the data were pooled. Radiotelemetric blood pressure monitoring was measured in three WT and seven Rsk2KO conscious male mice of the same age under unrestrained conditions. Continuous blood pressure measurements were performed using Dataquest A.R.T. 20 software (Data Sciences International, St. Paul, MN), as described previously (67). Mice were allowed to recover for 7 days after surgery to regain their normal circadian rhythms before blood pressure measurements were initiated. Baseline systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures and heart rate were recorded continuously over 7 days (at 1-min intervals) after the recovery period. The values over 7 × 24-hour periods were averaged to obtain the baseline day- or nighttime blood pressures.

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