Lentil consumption reduces resistance artery remodeling and restores arterial compliance in the spontaneously hypertensive rats

J Nutr Biochem. 2016 Nov;37:30-38. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.07.014. Epub 2016 Aug 13.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic
  • Arteries / metabolism
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Functional Food* / analysis
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / metabolism
  • Hypercholesterolemia / pathology
  • Hypercholesterolemia / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Lens Plant* / metabolism
  • Male
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pigments, Biological / biosynthesis
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Seeds* / metabolism
  • Vascular Remodeling
  • Vascular Stiffness
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Pigments, Biological
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases