The effects of dietary potassium on vascular and glomerular lesions in hypertensive rats

Clin Exp Hypertens. 1994 Jul;16(4):391-414. doi: 10.3109/10641969409067953.


The present study examines the effects of dietary potassium (K) on hypertensive glomerular and vascular lesions in deoxycorticosterone acetate and salt induced (DOCA-salt) and two kidney one clip (2K1C) hypertensive as well as normotensive control rats. Animals received a regular (0.28% K), high (1.1% K) or low (0.07% K) potassium diet for 6 weeks. In control rats, low K diet significantly increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.05). In DOCA-salt rats, high K diet did not modify SBP or glomerular and vascular lesions while low K diet significantly increased premature death in these rats. In 2K1C rats, dietary K did not alter the blood pressure, but percentage media area (% media) of intramyocardial arteries, percentage of glomerular lesions, and renal arterial and arteriolar lesion scores were lower in high K diet rats than regular and low K diet rats (p < 0.05). This study is the first demonstration that high K diet can protect against vascular and glomerular lesions in a non salt-loaded hypertensive model. The beneficial effects of dietary K on vascular lesions are at least in part independent of changes in blood pressure, and may be renin related.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Desoxycorticosterone
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / pathology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / mortality
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / pathology*
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Potassium / blood
  • Potassium / urine
  • Potassium, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Sodium / urine
  • Survival Analysis


  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Desoxycorticosterone
  • Sodium
  • Potassium