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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Sep;19(7):491-7. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2008.09.007. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Polyphenol-containing azuki bean (Vigna angularis) extract attenuates blood pressure elevation and modulates nitric oxide synthase and caveolin-1 expressions in rats with hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Aomori University of Health and Welfare, Mase 58-1, Hamadate, Aomori 030-8505, Japan.



Azuki beans (Vigna angularis) contain polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins that exhibit potential radical scavenging activities. We herein investigated the effects of polyphenol-containing azuki bean extract (ABE) on elevated blood pressure, nitric oxide (NO) production, and expressions of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), inducible NOS (iNOS), and caveolin-1 proteins in the aorta and kidney of chronically hypertensive rats.


Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs/Izm) with approximately 200 mm Hg systolic blood pressure (SBP) were randomly divided into 2 groups fed either 0% or 0.9% ABE-containing diet. Age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats were used as the control. The content of 24-h urinary nitrate/nitrite (NOx) excretion was measured to evaluate NO production. After 8 weeks of treatment, the eNOS, iNOS, and caveolin-1 protein expressions in the aorta and kidney were analyzed by western blotting. The SBP of the ABE-treated SHR was significantly lower than that of the untreated SHR. The level of 24-h urinary NOx excretion was significantly higher in the ABE-treated SHR than in the untreated SHR. The eNOS and iNOS expressions in the aorta and kidney were remarkably upregulated in the untreated SHR but suppressed in the ABE-treated SHR. The vascular and renal caveolin-1 expressions were upregulated in the ABE-treated SHR.


ABE reduced the elevated blood pressure and increased NO production in long-term treatment. It may be associated with the modulation of eNOS and iNOS protein expressions in the aorta and kidney during the development of hypertension.

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