Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 275, Issue 1–2, pp 135–141 | Cite as

Dietary lipoic acid supplementation attenuates hypertension in Dahl salt sensitive rats

  • Sudesh Vasdev
  • Vicki Gill
  • Sushil Parai
  • Veeresh Gadag


There is strong evidence that excess dietary salt (NaCl) is a major factor contributing to the development of hypertension. Salt sensitive humans and rats develop hypertension even on a normal salt diet. Salt sensitivity is associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in both humans and animal models, including Dahl salt sensitive (DSS) rats. In insulin resistance, impaired glucose metabolism leads to elevated endogenous aldehydes. These aldehydes bind sulfhydryl groups of membrane proteins, altering calcium channels, increasing cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+] i ) and blood pressure. Treatment with lipoic acid, an endogenous sulfur-containing fatty acid, normalizes insulin resistance and lowers tissue aldehyde conjugates, cytosolic [Ca2+] i , and blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a normal salt diet on tissue aldehyde conjugates, cytosolic [Ca2+] i and blood pressure in DSS rats and to determine whether lipoic acid supplementation prevents the increase in blood pressure and biochemical changes. Starting at 7 weeks of age, DSS rats were divided into three groups of six animals each and treated for 6 weeks with diets as follows: DSS-low salt, 0.4% NaCl; DSS-normal salt, 0.7% NaCl, and; DSS-normal salt + lipoic acid, 0.7% NaCl + lipoic acid 500 mg/kg feed. At completion, animals in the normal salt group had elevated systolic blood pressure, cytosolic [Ca2+] i and tissue aldehyde conjugates as compared to the low salt group. They also showed smooth muscle cell hyperplasia in small arteries and arterioles of the kidney. Dietary lipoic acid supplementation attenuated the increase in systolic blood pressure and associated biochemical and histopathological changes.


aldehydes cytosolic [Ca2+]i lipoic acid salt sensitive hypertension 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudesh Vasdev
    • 1
    • 3
  • Vicki Gill
    • 1
  • Sushil Parai
    • 1
  • Veeresh Gadag
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Health Sciences CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Division of Community Health, Health Sciences CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Health Sciences CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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