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Hypertension. 2011 Mar;57(3):497-504. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.159681. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Dietary iron restriction prevents hypertensive cardiovascular remodeling in Dahl salt-sensitive rats.

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Cardiovascular Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya 663-8501, Japan.


Iron accumulation is associated with the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular diseases. However, the preventive effects of iron restriction (IR) against cardiovascular disease remain obscure. We investigated the effects of dietary IR on cardiovascular pathophysiology and the involved mechanism in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Dahl salt-sensitive rats were provided either a normal or high-salt (HS) diet. Another subset of Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed an HS with iron-restricted (HS+IR) diet for 11 weeks. Dahl salt-sensitive rats given an HS diet developed hypertension, heart failure, and decreased a survival rate after 11 weeks on the diet. In contrast, IR attenuated the development of hypertension and heart failure, thereby improving survival rate. Dietary IR suppressed cardiovascular hypertrophy, fibrosis, and inflammation in HS rats. The phosphorylation of Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase was decreased in the aorta of HS rats, whereas they were ameliorated by the IR diet. Aortic expression of the cellular iron import protein transferrin receptor 1, and the iron storage protein ferritin H-subunit, was upregulated in HS rats. IR also attenuated proteinuria and increased oxidative stress in the HS group. N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester abolished the beneficial effects of IR and decreased survival rate in HS+IR rats. Dietary IR had protective effects on salt-induced hypertension, cardiovascular remodeling, and proteinuria through the inhibition of oxidative stress, and maintenance of Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the aorta. IR could be an effective strategy for prevention of HS-induced organ damage in salt-sensitive hypertensive patients.

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