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Molecular Biology - Nephrology - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology

Post-Weaning Protein Malnutrition Increases Blood Pressure and Induces Endothelial Dysfunctions in Rats
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Author: Aucelia C. S. de Belchior et al.

by Aucelia C. S. de Belchior, Jhuli K. Angeli, Thaís de O. Faria, Fabiana D. M. Siman, Edna A. Silveira, Eduardo F. Meira, Carlos P. da Costa, Dalton V. Vassallo, Alessandra S. Padilha

Malnutrition during critical periods in early life may increase the subsequent risk of hypertension and metabolic diseases in adulthood, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. We aimed to evaluate the effects of post-weaning protein malnutrition on blood pressure and vascular reactivity in aortic rings (conductance artery) and isolated-perfused tail arteries (resistance artery) from control (fed with Labina®) and post-weaning protein malnutrition rats (offspring that received a diet with low protein content for three months). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate increased in the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats. In the aortic rings, reactivity to phenylephrine (10-10–3.10-4 M) was similar in both groups. Endothelium removal or L-NAME (10-4 M) incubation increased the response to phenylephrine, but the L-NAME effect was greater in the aortic rings from the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats. The protein expression of the endothelial nitric oxide isoform increased in the aortic rings from the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats. Incubation with apocynin (0.3 mM) reduced the response to phenylephrine in both groups, but this effect was higher in the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats, suggesting an increase of superoxide anion release. In the tail artery of the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats, the vascular reactivity to phenylephrine (0.001–300 µg) and the relaxation to acetylcholine (10-10–10-3 M) were increased. Post-weaning protein malnutrition increases blood pressure and induces vascular dysfunction. Although the vascular reactivity in the aortic rings did not change, an increase in superoxide anion and nitric oxide was observed in the post-weaning protein malnutrition rats. However, in the resistance arteries, the increased vascular reactivity may be a potential mechanism underlying the increased blood pressure observed in this model.