Vinegar decreases blood pressure by down-regulating AT1R expression via the AMPK/PGC-1α/PPARγ pathway in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Apr;55(3):1245-53. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-0937-7. Epub 2015 Oct 18.


Purpose: Vinegar has been reported to lower blood pressure, but its mechanism is unclear. This study explored whether vinegar plays antihypertensive effect by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway.

Methods: Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were assigned to vinegar, acetic acid, nifedipine, nifedipine + vinegar, or distilled water by oral gavage for 8 weeks. Blood and aortas were analyzed for biochemical indices and protein expression levels. Sv40-transformed aortic rat endothelia cell line (SVAREC) cells were treated with acetate at different doses for 24 h; protein expression levels were assessed.

Results: Vinegar and acetic acid decreased blood pressure in SHRs on weeks 6 and 8, and nifedipine + vinegar had a better effect on blood pressure control than vinegar or nifedipine alone. Vinegar and acetic acid could decrease serum renin and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activities, angiotensin II and aldosterone concentrations in SHRs. Vinegar and acetic acid also increased AMP/ATP ratios and expression levels of pAMPK, PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), and PPARγ while inhibited angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) expression in SHRs. The changes in these protein expressions were also found in SVAREC cells treated with 200 or 400 μmol/L acetate. In the presence of AMPK inhibitor or PGC-1α small interfering RNA, the effects of acetate on their downstream protein expression in SVAREC cells were abolished, respectively.

Conclusion: Vinegar activates AMPK by increasing AMP/ATP ratios, thereby increases PGC-1α and PPARγ expressions, and inhibits AT1R expression in SHRs. Acetic acid is responsible for the antihypertensive effects of vinegar. There is a joint effect between vinegar and nifedipine in blood pressure control.

Keywords: AMPK; Angiotensin II type 1 receptor; Blood pressure; Vinegar.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Silencing
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / genetics
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Renin / blood
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sodium Acetate / pharmacology


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • PPAR gamma
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Sodium Acetate
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Renin
  • Nifedipine
  • Acetic Acid