A wild blueberry-enriched diet (Vaccinium angustifolium) improves vascular tone in the adult spontaneously hypertensive rat

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Nov 24;58(22):11600-5. doi: 10.1021/jf101839u. Epub 2010 Oct 22.


The effect of a wild blueberry-enriched diet on vasoconstriction and vasorelaxation was examined in the adult, 20-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) after 8 weeks of a control (C) or an 8% wild blueberry (WB) diet. Nitric oxide (NO)- and cyclooxygenase (COX)-mediated aortic responses were examined ex vivo with the agonists L-phenylephrine (Phe) and acetylcholine (Ach), in the absence or presence of the NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NG-monomethyl arginine (L-NMMA) or the COX inhibitor mefenamic acid (MFA). The vasoconstriction elicited by Phe was reduced in the WB group, attributed to the NO pathway, favoring a lower vascular tone under basal conditions. Acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation in the WB group was possibly mediated through the COX, but not the NO pathway. These findings document the potential of wild blueberries to modify major pathways of vasomotor control and improve the vascular tone in the adult SHR with endothelial dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic / drug effects
  • Aorta, Thoracic / enzymology
  • Aorta, Thoracic / metabolism
  • Aorta, Thoracic / physiopathology
  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / enzymology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Vasodilation / drug effects
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases