Obesity-induced hypertension develops in young rats independently of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system

Anita D. Smith, Michael W. Brands, Mong Heng Wang, Anne M. Dorrance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A correlation exists between obesity and hypertension. In the currently available models of diet-induced obesity, the treatment of rats with a high fat (HF) diet does not begin until adulthood. Our aim was to develop and characterize a model of prepubescent obesity-induced hypertension. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a HF diet (35% fat) for 10 weeks, beginning at age 3 weeks. Blood pressure was measured by tail-cuff, and a terminal blood sample was obtained to measure fasting blood glucose, insulin, plasma renin, aldosterone, thiobarbitutic acid reactive substances (TBARS), and free 8-isoprostanes levels. The vascular reactivity in the aorta was assessed using a myograph. Blood pressure was increased in rats fed the HF diet (HF, 161 6 2 mm Hg vs. control, 137 ± 2 mm Hg, P < 0.05). Blood glucose (HF, 155 ± 4 mg/dL vs. control, 123 ± 5 mg/dL, P < 0.05), insulin (HF, 232 ± 63 pM vs. control, 60 ± 11 pM, P < 0.05), TBARS (expressed as nM of malondialdehyde [MDA]/ml [HF, 1.8 ± 0.37 nM MDA/ml vs. control 1.05 ± 0.09 nM MDA/ml, P < 0.05]), and free 8-isoprostanes (HF, 229 ± 68 pg/ml vs. control, 112 ± 9 pg/ ml, P < 0.05) levels were elevated in the HF diet group. Interestingly, plasma renin and aldosterone levels were not different between the groups. The maximum vasoconstriction to phenylephrine (10-4 M) was increased in the HF diet group (HF, 26.1 ± 1.5 mN vs. control 22.3 ± 1.2 mN, P < 0.05). In conclusion, pre-pubescent rats become hypertensive and have increased oxidative stress and enhanced vasoconstriction when fed a HF diet. Surprisingly, this occurs without the increase in renin or aldosterone levels seen in the adult models of diet-induced obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Adrenal steroids
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Phenylephrine
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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