We previously established that lentils were able to significantly attenuate the development of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), but the mechanism was not investigated. The current study was therefore designed to examine the effect of lentils on arterial function in relation to arterial stiffness, lipid biochemistry and activation of select aortic proteins. Seventeen-week-old male SHRs were randomly assigned to groups (n=10/group) fed (a) 30% w/w green lentils, (b) 30% red lentils, (c) 30% mixed lentils (red and green) or (d) no lentils for 8 weeks. Normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) groups (n=10/group) received either the mixed lentil or no lentil diet. Blood pressure, pulse wave velocity and serum lipids were measured at baseline and 8 weeks, while pressure myography, arterial morphology and aortic proteins were measured after termination. There were no dietary-related changes in pulse wave velocity or blood pressure for any SHR or WKY group. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly lower in only SHR red lentil and WKY mixed lentil groups compared to their controls. The lentil diets reduced the media:lumen ratio of SHRs relative to control-fed SHRs but had no effect on WKYs. Both red and green lentils reduced arterial stiffness of SHRs but not WKYs. SHR lentil groups showed lower aortic p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) phosphorylation, thus implying that p38MAPK activation is suppressed with lentil feeding. Lentil-based diets suppress pathological vascular remodeling in SHRs, while green lentils maintain the vascular function of SHRs similar to normotensive WKYs despite the presence of high blood pressure.
Keywords: Arterial remodeling; Hypertension; Lentils; Spontaneously hypertensive rats; p38MAPK.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.