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Hypertension. 2008 Feb;51(2):540-6. Epub 2007 Dec 24.

Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and direct renin inhibition improve electrical remodeling in a model of high human renin hypertension.

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Medical Faculty of the Charité, Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Franz Volhard Clinic and HELIOS Klinikum Berlin-Buch, Berlin, Germany.


We compared the effect n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with direct renin inhibition on electrophysiological remodeling in angiotensin II-induced cardiac injury. We treated double-transgenic rats expressing the human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGRs) from week 4 to 7 with n-3 PUFA ethyl-esters (Omacor; 25-g/kg diet) or a direct renin inhibitor (aliskiren; 3 mg/kg per day). Sprague-Dawley rats were controls. We performed electrocardiographic, magnetocardiographic, and programmed electrical stimulation. Dietary n-3 PUFAs increased the cardiac content of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid. At week 7, mortality in dTGRs was 31%, whereas none of the n-3 PUFA- or aliskiren-treated dTGRs died. Systolic blood pressure was modestly reduced in n-3 PUFA-treated (180+/-3 mm Hg) compared with dTGRs (208+/-5 mm Hg). Aliskiren-treated dTGRs and Sprague-Dawley rats were normotensive (110+/-3 and 119+/-6 mm Hg, respectively). Both n-3 PUFA-treated and untreated dTGRs showed cardiac hypertrophy and increased atrial natriuretic peptide levels. Prolonged QRS and QT(c) intervals and increased T-wave dispersion in dTGRs were reduced by n-3 PUFAs or aliskiren. Both treatments reduced arrhythmia induction from 75% in dTGRs to 17% versus 0% in Sprague-Dawley rats. Macrophage infiltration and fibrosis were reduced by n-3 PUFAs and aliskiren. Connexin 43, a mediator of intermyocyte conduction, was redistributed to the lateral cell membranes in dTGRs. n-3 PUFAs and aliskiren restored normal localization to the intercalated disks. Thus, n-3 PUFAs and aliskiren improved electrical remodeling, arrhythmia induction, and connexin 43 expression, despite a 70-mm Hg difference in blood pressure and the development of cardiac hypertrophy.

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