Disturbances of calcium metabolism in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
Ionized calcium is critical to the maintenance of normal cardiovascular function. Recently, vasoactive properties have also been attributed to parathyroid hormone (PTH). The present study characterizes the calcium-PTH axis in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) in order to determine the effects of chronic alterations in calcium intake on the development and maintenance of hypertension in this species. Thirty-six SHR and 36 Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) normotensive control rats were studied. The rats were fed one of three levels (percent of total diet) of calcium (normal 0.5%, low-normal 0.25%, high 4.0%) beginning at 10 weeks of age. Serum total and ionized calcium, serum PTHs, urinary electrolytes, and systolic blood pressures were assessed by repeated measurements between 10 and 48 weeks of age. Irrespective of calcium intake, the SHRs had lower serum ionized calcium concentrations (p less than 0.001) and higher PTH levels (p less than 0.001) than the WKYs. Serum total calcium were similar for the two strains. Urinary calcium excretion was greater in the SHR (p less than 0.001) relative to the WKY. The high (4.0%) calcium diet normalized the serum ionized calcium and attenuated the development of the SHRs' hypertension (p less than 0.001). The present study describes several previously unrecognized abnormalities of calcium metabolism in the SHR. These disturbances may be of pathogenetic importance in the development and maintenance of hypertension in the SHR.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association