Vascular hypertrophy and albumin permeability in a rat model combining hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Effects of calcium antagonism, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition, and angiotensin II-AT1-receptor blockade

U. Lennart Hulthén, Zemin Cao, Jonathan R. Rumble, Mark E. Cooper, Colin I. Johnston

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The aim of this study was to compare the effects of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition, angiotensin II (AII) AT1-receptor blockade, and dihydropyridine calcium antagonism on hypertrophy and on vascular albumin permeability in kidney, heart, and mesenteric artery in a model combining genetic hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus was induced by streptozotocin in 8-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats. The animals were randomized to receive no treatment, the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril, the AII AT1-receptor blocker valsartan, or the dihydropyridine calcium antagonist lacidipine for 3 weeks. Vascular albumin permeability was measured as the tissue content of intravenously injected Evans blue dye (EB) in kidney, heart, and mesenteric artery and the tissue/plasma EB ratio was calculated. Systolic blood pressure was reduced by all three antihypertensive regimens. Glycemic control was similar in all diabetic groups. Kidney hypertrophy was not affected by any of the antihypertensive drugs. Hypertrophy of the mesenteric artery was enhanced by lacidipine but was not affected by ramipril or valsartan. Relative heart weight was also increased by lacidipine. Vascular albumin permeability, expressed as EB content in micrograms/gram dry weight or as tissue/plasma EB ratio, was higher in the kidneys of lacidipine-treated rats than in any other group of diabetic rats. There was a positive correlation between kidney weight/body weight and kidney/plasma EB ratio in the diabetic rats. These findings indicate that the dihydropyridine calcium antagonist lacidipine is associated with an unfavorable effect on vascular hypertrophy and on vascular albumin permeability in the kidneys in rats with hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, there seems to be a coupling in the diabetic kidney between hypertrophy and increased vascular albumin permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-901
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertrophy
  • Lacidipine
  • Ramipril
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rat
  • Valsartan
  • Vascular albumin permeability

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