High Dietary Protein Exacerbates Hypertension and Renal Damage in Dahl SS Rats by Increasing Infiltrating Immune Cells in the Kidney
The present study evaluated the influence and mechanism of action of dietary protein intake in Dahl SS hypertension and renal disease. Rats were fed isocaloric diets with low (6%), normal (18%), or high (30%) amounts of protein and 0.4% NaCl from 5 to 12 weeks of age; the NaCl content of the diets was then increased to 4.0% NaCl from 12 to 15 weeks of age. Rats fed the high-protein diet developed the highest mean arterial blood pressure and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio when fed the 4.0% NaCl diet (153±7 mm Hg and 8.0±2.4, respectively) compared to rats fed normal protein (132±3 mm Hg, 1.2±0.3) or low-protein (132±6 mm Hg, 0.3±0.1) diets. Significantly greater numbers of infiltrating T lymphocytes were observed in kidneys of SS rats fed the high-protein diet (18.9±3×105 cells) than in rats fed the low-protein diet (9.1±3×105 cells). Furthermore, treatment of SS rats fed the high-protein diet with the immunosuppressant agent mycophenolate mofetil (20 mg/kg per day, ip) significantly reduced the number of infiltrating T cells in the kidneys (from 18.9±2.7 to 10.6±2.0×105 cells) while decreasing blood pressure (from 133±3 to 113±4 mm Hg) and the albumin/creatinine ratio (from 10.9±2.3 to 5.4±1.2). These results demonstrate that restriction of protein intake protects the Dahl SS rats from hypertension and kidney disease and indicates that infiltrating immune cells play a pathological role in Dahl SS rats fed a high-protein diet. Moreover, the results show that hypertension in Dahl SS rats is sensitive to both NaCl and protein intake.
- Received March 31, 2010.
- Revision received April 27, 2010.
- Accepted November 23, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.