Effects of chromium picolinate on vascular reactivity and cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Worku Abebe, Jun Yao Liu, Hereward Wimborne, Mahmood S. Mozaffari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Chromium picolinate [Cr(pic)3] is a nutritional supplement widely promoted to exert beneficial metabolic effects in patients with type 2 diabetes/impaired glucose tolerance. Frequent comorbidities in these individuals include systemic hypertension, abnormal vascular function and ischemic heart disease, but information on the effects of the supplement on these aspects is sparse. Utilizing male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), we examined the potential impact of Cr(pic)3 on blood pressure, vascular reactivity and myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Dietary Cr(pic)3 supplementation (as 10 mg chromium/kg diet for six weeks) did not affect blood pressure of the SHR. Also, neither norepinephrine (NE) and potassium chloride (KCl)-induced contractility nor sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced relaxation of aortic smooth muscle from the SHR was altered by Cr(pic)3 treatment. However, Cr(pic)3 augmented endothelium-dependent relaxation of aortas, produced by acetylcholine (ACh), and this effect was abolished by N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), suggesting induction of nitric oxide (NO) production/release. Treatment with Cr(pic)3 did not affect baseline coronary flow rate and rate-pressure-product (RPP) or infarct size following regional IRI. Nonetheless, Cr(pic)3 treatment was associated with improved coronary flow and recovery of myocardial contractility and relaxation following ischemia-reperfusion insult. In conclusion, dietary Cr(pic)3 treatment of SHR alters neither blood pressure nor vascular smooth muscle reactivity but causes enhancement of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation associated with NO production/release. Additionally, while the treatment does not affect infarct size, it improves functional recovery of the viable portion of the myocardium following IRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacological Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Chromium picolinate
  • Heart
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rat
  • Vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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