Effects of coronary ischemia-reperfusion in a rat model of early overnutrition. Role of angiotensin receptors

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e54984. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054984. Epub 2013 Feb 1.


Background: Obesity during childhood has dramatically increased worldwide in the last decades. Environmental factors acting early in life, including nutrition, play an important role in the pathogenesis of obesity and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.

Aims: To analyze the effects of early overfeeding on the heart and coronary circulation, the effect of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) and the role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) were studied in isolated hearts from control and overfed rats during lactation.

Methods and results: On the day of birth litters were adjusted to twelve pups per mother (control) or to three pups per mother (overfed). At weaning (21 days) the rats were killed and the heart perfused in a Langendorff system and subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by 15 min of reperfusion. The contractility (left developed intraventricular pressure) was lower in the hearts from overfed rats, and was reduced by I/R in hearts from control but not from overfed rats. I/R also reduced the coronary vasoconstriction to angiotensin II more in hearts from control than from overfed rats, and the vasodilatation to bradykinin similarly in both experimental groups. The expression of both angiotensin AGTRa and AGTR2 receptors was increased in the myocardium of overfed rats, and I/R increased the expression of both receptors in control rats but reduced it in overfed rats. The expression of apoptotic and antiapoptotic markers was increased in hearts of overfed rats compared with control, and further increased by I/R.

Conclusions: These results suggest that both overfeeding and I/R impair cardiac and coronary function due, at least in part, to activation of the angiotensin pathway. However, overfeeding may reduce the impairment of ventricular contractility by I/R.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Suckling
  • Immunoblotting
  • Litter Size
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion / adverse effects*
  • Overnutrition / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / metabolism*
  • Vasodilation / physiology*


  • Receptors, Angiotensin

Grant support

This work was supported by Fundación Mapfre (2011) and Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (PS09/00394). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.