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Hypertension. 2004 Mar;43(3):667-72. Epub 2004 Feb 2.

Androgens are necessary for the development of fructose-induced hypertension.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2146 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are closely associated with hypertension in humans and in animal models. Gender differences have been found in the development of hypertension in fructose-fed rats. The objectives of the present study were, first, to clarify whether androgens are required in the development of hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension in fructose-fed rats, and second, to determine if cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 are also increased in the arteries of these rats. Male rats were gonadectomized or sham-operated and fed a 60% fructose diet beginning at age 7 weeks. Blood pressure was measured by a tail-cuff method, and an oral glucose tolerance test was performed to assess insulin sensitivity after 8 weeks of fructose feeding. Cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression was also assessed in the thoracic aortae and mesenteric arteries. Gonadectomy prevented hypertension from developing in the fructose-fed rats, but hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance developed. There was an increase in cyclooxygenase-2 expression in the thoracic aortae and mesenteric arteries of the fructose-fed sham-operated rats while the expression of cyclooxygenase-1 remained unchanged. Gonadectomy prevented the mRNA overexpression of vascular cyclooxygenase-2 in the fructose-fed rats. These results suggest that the presence of androgens is necessary for the development of fructose-induced hypertension. Androgens apparently act as a link between hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance and hypertension in fructose-hypertensive rats. Furthermore, an increase in the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 is implicated in the development of hypertension. The mechanisms involved require further study.

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