Background/aim: It is well accepted that high dietary salt intake accelerates both hypertension and target organ damage. We have previously shown that eplerenone attenuates sustained elevated systolic blood pressure in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. In the present study, we investigated the role of eplerenone on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression because we suspected that eplerenone treatment may trigger a unique mechanism that relies on the downregulation of VEGF.
Methods: Dahl SS rats were fed a high salt (8% NaCl) diet for 3 weeks and then switched to normal salt (0.3% NaCl) diet with or without treatment with eplerenone (100 mg/kg/day), enalapril (30 mg/kg/day) and their combination for an additional 3 weeks.
Results: In addition to reducing blood pressure, eplerenone inhibited glomeruli sclerosis and suppressed the expression of VEGF and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA as well as protein levels.
Conclusions: Based on these findings, we suggest that in part, VEGF stimulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase plays a significant role in the eplerenone-induced reversal of the renal and vascular damage caused by high dietary salt intake.
Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.