High calcium diet augments vascular potassium relaxation in hypertensive rats.
The effects of increased dietary calcium on the development of hypertension and vascular smooth muscle responses were studied in spontaneously hypertensive rats and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Both hypertensive and normotensive animals were divided into two groups; the calcium content of the normal diet was 1.1% and that of the high calcium diet 3.1%. During the 12-week study, calcium supplementation significantly attenuated the increase in systolic blood pressure in the hypertensive rats but did not affect blood pressure in the normotensive rats. The contractile responses of endothelium-denuded mesenteric arterial rings to potassium chloride were similar in all study groups. The contractions to norepinephrine were not altered by the high calcium diet either, but smooth muscle sensitivity to this agonist was lower in the normotensive than in the hypertensive rats. Potassium relaxation was used to evaluate the activity of vascular smooth muscle Na+,K(+)-ATPase. The maximal rate of potassium relaxation was fastest in the normotensive groups but was also clearly faster in calcium-treated hypertensive rats when compared with hypertensive rats on a normal diet. Platelets were used as a cell model for the analysis of intracellular free calcium concentration, which was measured by the fluorescent indicator quin-2. Intracellular free calcium was significantly reduced in the hypertensive rats by calcium supplementation and was not affected in the normotensive rats. In conclusion, a reduction of intracellular free calcium concentration indicating improved calcium regulation and a concomitant alteration in vascular relaxation probably reflecting increased activity of smooth muscle Na+,K(+)-ATPase may contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effect of a high calcium diet.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association