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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):H175-9. Epub 2006 Aug 11.

Long-term mineralocorticoid receptor blockade reduces fibrosis and improves cardiac performance and coronary hemodynamics in elderly SHR.

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Division of Research, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1520 Jefferson Hwy., New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


Aldosterone has been implicated as one of the mediators of cardiovascular injury in various diseases. This study examines whether mineralocorticoid antagonism ameliorates or prevents the adverse cardiac effects of hypertension and aging. Male 22-wk-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were divided into two groups, 15 rats in each. One group received no treatment; the other was given eplerenone ( approximately 100 At the age of 54 wk, indexes of cardiovascular mass, systemic and regional hemodynamics, including coronary, left ventricular function, and myocardial collagen content, were determined in all rats. Hemodynamic studies were done in conscious rats. Arterial pressure was lowered only slightly in eplerenone-treated rats, and cardiac output and total peripheral resistance did not differ from control rats. Left and right ventricular and aortic mass indexes were unaffected by eplerenone; however, concentration of hydroxyproline in the right and left ventricle was decreased significantly (P < 0.05) by eplerenone. This was accompanied by an improvement in left ventricular diastolic function and coronary hemodynamics. In conclusion, long-term therapy with the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist eplerenone ameliorated adverse cardiac effects of both hypertension and aging in SHR. Thus reduction in myocardial fibrosis, paralleled by improvements in left ventricular function and coronary hemodynamics, was observed in eplerenone-treated SHR.

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