Chlorella pyrenoidosa ameliorated L-NAME-induced hypertension and cardiorenal remodeling in rats

Eur J Nutr. 2013 Mar;52(2):601-8. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0362-0. Epub 2012 May 3.


Purpose: Hypertension is one of the main factors causing cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of Chlorella pyrenoidosa on blood pressure and cardiorenal remodeling in rats with N (ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME)-induced endothelial dysfunction.

Methods: Rats were fed a diet containing L-NAME (40 mg/kg) with or without chlorella (4 or 8 %) for 5 weeks. We found that chlorella retarded the development of hypertension and cardiorenal remodeling during the 5-week experimental period.

Results: Although there was no difference in NO( x ) levels or plasma arginine concentrations, plasma and tissues ACE activities were significantly lower in the chlorella groups than in the L-NAME group. Moreover, tissue tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations and renal CYP4A expression were also lower in the chlorella group.

Conclusion: These results suggest that chlorella might ameliorate the elevation of blood pressure and show cardiorenal-protective effects in nitric oxide-deficient rats, and one possible mechanism might be mediated by its ACE inhibitory activity.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Arginine / blood
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Chlorella*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP4A / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP4A / metabolism
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / adverse effects*
  • Nitric Oxide / deficiency
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Plant Preparations
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP4A
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester