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J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):2924-9.

Depressed prostanoid-induced contractility of the gut in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) is not affected by the level of dietary fat.

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  • 1CSIRO Health Sciences & Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.


Dietary saturated fat (SF) has adverse effects on cardiac and vascular smooth muscle (VSM) contractility. Furthermore, VSM of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) is overreactive to various biological stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of increasing dietary fat as lard on gut contractility in SHR. Control Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and SHR (13 wk old) were fed for 12 wk a diet containing 3% sunflower oil [low fat (LF), 3% total fat] or diets supplemented with 7% lard [medium fat (MF), 10% total fat] or 27% lard [high fat (HF), 30% total fat]. For ileal and colonic tissues (WKY and SHR), there was a lower total phospholipid PUFA (n-6)/(n-3) ratio with increased dietary SF (P < 0.003). For WKY, increasing SF led to lower levels of the major SCFA and lower total SCFA levels in cecal digesta (P < 0.01). This trend was evident in SHR but significant only for butyrate (P < 0.01). Contractility responses were unaltered in ileum. In colon, there was a change of sensitivity (50% effective concentration) to angiotensin II in WKY (P < 0.05) due to increased SF and a change of sensitivity to prostaglandin (PG)E(2) and carbachol in SHR (P < 0.05). When the 3 dietary groups were combined, there was lower sensitivity (P < 0.01) and lower maximal contraction (P < 0.05) in ileum and lower maximal contraction in colon of SHR in response to PGF(2alpha) (P < 0.05) and PGE(2) (P < 0.01) compared with WKY. Unlike (n-3) PUFA, dietary SF had little overall effect on gut contractility. However, this is the first report of a defect in PG responsiveness from gut tissue from hypertensive rats.

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