Arbutus unedo prevents cardiovascular and morphological alterations in L-NAME-induced hypertensive rats Part I: cardiovascular and renal hemodynamic effects of Arbutus unedo in L-NAME-induced hypertensive rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 5;116(2):288-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.11.029. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


Hypertension induced by nitric oxide synthase inhibition is associated with functional abnormalities of the heart and kidney. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether chronic treatment with Arbutus unedo leaf (AuL) or root (AuR) aqueous extracts can prevent these alterations. Six groups of rats were used: control group received tap water; N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl-ester (L-NAME) group treated with L-NAME at 40 mg/kg/day; AuL and AuR groups received simultaneously L-NAME (40 mg/kg/day) and Au leaves or roots extract at the same concentration 250 mg/kg/day; l-arginine and enalapril groups received simultaneously L-NAME (40 mg/kg/day) and l-arginine at 50mg/kg/day or enalapril at 15 mg/kg/day. Treatment of rats during 4 weeks with L-NAME caused an increase of the systolic blood pressure (SBP) accompanied by a ventricular hypertrophy, an impairment of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, an increase of the cardiac baroreflex sensitivity and a decrease of water, sodium and potassium excretion. The co-administration of AuL or AuR extracts with L-NAME reduces the development of increased SBP, ameliorates the vascular reactivity as well as the baroreflex sensitivity and normalizes the renal function. AuR reduces the ventricular hypertrophy but AuL do not. Enalapril associated with L-NAME reverses the majority of alterations induced by L-NAME while l-arginine only lightly ameliorates the vascular reactivity. These results show that chronic treatment with Arbutus extract regress the development of hypertension and ameliorate cardiovascular and renal functions in NO deficient hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Ericaceae / chemistry*
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / administration & dosage*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Plant Extracts
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester