Hypothesis: This study tested the hypothesis that dietary activation of the master antioxidant and cell protective transcription factor nuclear factor, erythroid -2-like 2 (NRF2), protects against salt-induced vascular dysfunction by restoring redox homeostasis in the vasculature.
Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats and Syrian hamsters were fed a HS (4.0% NaCl) diet containing ~60 mg/kg/day Protandim supplement for 2 weeks and compared to controls fed HS diet alone.
Results: Protandim supplementation restoredendothelium-dependent vasodilation in response to acetylcholine (ACh) in middle cerebral arteries (MCA)of HS-fed rats and hamster cheek pouch arterioles, and increased microvessel density in the cremastermuscle of HS-fed rats. The restored dilation to ACh in MCA of Protandim-treated rats was prevented by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase (NOS) with L-NAME [100 μM] and was absent in MCA from Nrf2(-/-) knockout rats fed HS diet. Basilar arteries from HS-fed rats treated with Protandim exhibited significantly lower staining for mitochondrial oxidizing species than untreated animals fed HS diet alone; and Protandim treatment increased MnSOD (SOD2) protein expression in mesenteric arteries of HS-fed rats.
Conclusions: These results suggest that dietary activation of NRF2 protects against salt-induced vascular dysfunction, vascular oxidative stress, and microvascular rarefaction by upregulating antioxidant defenses and reducing mitochondrial ROS levels.
Keywords: NRF2; Protandim; antioxidants; cerebral circulation; endothelial dysfunction; oxidant stress; reactive oxygen species; resistance arteries; salt; sodium; superoxide dismutase; vascular dysfunction; vasodilation.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.