Dietary capsaicin-mediated attenuation of hypertension in a rat model of renovascular hypertension

Clin Exp Hypertens. 2020 May 18;42(4):352-359. doi: 10.1080/10641963.2019.1665676. Epub 2019 Sep 13.


Background: Capsaicin, a pungent component of chili pepper, has been reported to decrease blood pressure (BP) and to cause vasorelaxation via nitric oxide (NO) production. However, it is still unclear how dietary capsaicin effects on renovascular hypertension. To examine this, we observed the effects of dietary capsaicin on BP in 2-kidney, 1-clip renovascular hypertension (2K1C) rats, and investigated the participation of NO in the mechanism.Methods: Rats with 2K1C or sham-operated rats (SHAM) were treated with 0.006% capsaicin diet (CAP) or control diet (CTL) for 6 weeks. Systolic BP (SBP) was measured by tail-cuff method once a week. In the end, mean arterial BP (MAP) was measured in the rats under anesthesia. These observations were performed also in the rats taking a NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor (LN). After rats were euthanized, thoracic aortas were collected and used for western blot analyses to evaluate the phosphorylated ratio of endothelial NOS (eNOS), protein kinase A (PKA) and B (Akt), in order to explore a mechanism of the effects on BP by dietary capsaicin.Results: SBP and MAP in 2K1C rats were significantly higher than in SHAM rats when fed CTL, but not when fed CAP. Those in 2K1C-CAP rats were significantly lower than in 2K1C-CTL rats. LN suppressed the effect of dietary capsaicin. The ratios of phosphorylated (p-) eNOS/eNOS and p-Akt/Akt, but not p-PKA/PKA, were significantly increased in rats fed CAP compared with rats fed CTL.Conclusion: Dietary capsaicin may alleviate 2K1C renovascular hypertension, probably via enhancing phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS.Abbreviations: 2K1C: 2-kidney, 1-clip hypertension model; Akt: protein kinase B; Ang II: angiotensin II; ANOVA: measures analysis of variance; BP: blood pressure; EC: endothelial cell; eNOS: endothelial nitric oxide synthase; GAPDH: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; L-NAME, LN: Nω-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride; MA: mesenteric arteries; MAP: mean arterial blood pressure; NO: nitric oxide; PKA: protein kinase A; PVDF: polyvinylidene difluoride; SBP: Systolic blood pressure; SHR: spontaneously hypertensive rats; SN: sympathetic nervous; TRPV1: transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; WKY: Wistar Kyoto rats.

Keywords: 1-clip renovascular hypertension (2K1C); 2-kidney; Capsaicin; endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS); hypertension; nitric oxide (NO); protein kinase B (Akt).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Capsaicin* / metabolism
  • Capsaicin* / pharmacology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Hypertension, Renovascular* / metabolism
  • Hypertension, Renovascular* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sensory System Agents / metabolism
  • Sensory System Agents / pharmacology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology


  • Sensory System Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, rat
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Capsaicin