Aspects of the interrelation between hypertension and insulin resistance: a preliminary study
Nwabuisi, Osuafor Godswill
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Background: It is well known that some genetic factors and dietary factors, such as excessive salt intake and excessive caloric intake (resulting in obesity) are risk factors for hypertension. Fifty percent of all hypertensive patients are also insulin resistant. Both hypertension and insulin resistance are again risk factors for other cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart failure. The nature of the association between hypertension and insulin resistance has not been clearly elucidated. Spontaneously hypertensive rats are the ideal models to study the aspects of the relationships between hypertension and insulin resistance. Models of high-fat feeding induce obesity,hypertension and insulin resistance and are thus used extensively to study hypertension because these models closely mimic some of the renal and cardiovascular changes found in human hypertensive patients. The present study was initiated to evaluate if insulin resistance will develop within 6 weeks in a model of high-fat diet induced hypertension and if so, to determine whether captopril will affect the presence of insulin resistance.This model should in future be used to study vascular reactivity to phenylephrine (PHE),acetylcholine (ACH) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) in hypertensive animals in theabsence or presence of insulin resistance and in normotensive insulin resistant animals. Methods: In a series of experiments, rats were divided into four groups that received different treatments: (i) laboratory pellets, (ii) high-fat diet, (iii) high-fat diet plus captopril and (iv) high-fat diet plus vehicle. Body weight was measured weekly for 6 weeks. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured every week during the 6-weeks feeding period by the tail cuff method using a two channel computerized non-invasive system from Kent Scientific Corporation, USA.m Intraperitonealy glucose tolerance tests (IPGTTs) were performed at week 3 and week 6.After 6 weeks, and after an overnight fast, the plasma lipid profile was determined using a portable CardiochekTM blood test system. Fasting plasma insulin was determined using an immunoenzymatic assay for the in vitro quantitative measurement of rat insulin (INS) in serum and plasma. Insulin sensitivity was estimated by the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) using the fasting plasma insulin and fasting glucose levels. After week 6 on the high-fat diet, thoracic aortae from the control and high-fat fed(HFD) animals were excised and vascular response to PHE, ACH and SNP were assessed in intact and denuded endothelium.Result: High-fat feeding did not cause a significant increase in body weight. High-fat feeding significantly increased systolic blood pressure from 125±2.1 mmHg in control animals to 155±5.9 mmHg in the HFD group (P < 0.05) and 158±5.6 mmHg in the HFDV group (P < 0.05). Diastolic blood pressure was increased from 86±2.8 mmHg in the control group to 117±2.5 mmHg in the HFD group (P < 0.05) and 113±3.4 mmHg in the HFDV group (P < 0.05). Visceral fat was increased from 0.8±0.1g in the control group to 3.1±0.6 g in the HFD group and 3.8±0.6 g in the HFDV group. IPGTTs performed at weeks 3 and 6 respectively did not differ significantly from the control group as evidenced from the AUC’s at weeks 3 and 6 respectively. High-fat feeding had no significant effects on blood cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) values or and fasting plasma insulin levels. The KCl induced contraction in both aortic rings with intact and denuded endothelium did not differ significantly between the control and HFD groups (P= 0.4 and 0.8) respectively. The contraction mediated by KCl in aortic rings with intact and denuded endothelium from the control or HFD groups also did not differ significantly(control: intact vs denuded, P = 0.2; HFD: intact vs denuded, P = 1). Dose responsecurves(1-10 μM) to PHE indicated slightly stronger contractions in the high-fat fed animals at submaximal doses tested. The maximum contraction achieved was however the same (94±19% and 99±2.6% relative to KCl induced contraction, in the control and HFD group respectively, P<0.05). Relaxation responses to ACH and SNP represent preliminary data.Conclusion: These data suggest that 6 weeks of high-fat feeding induces hypertension but does not produce obesity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. However, this model may be useful in studying vascular reactivity in hypertension in the absence of insulin resistance.