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J Nutr Biochem. 2012 May;23(5):487-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Conjugated linoleic acid improves blood pressure by increasing adiponectin and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity.

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Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been reported to reduce blood pressure in obese insulin-resistant rats, but its mechanism of action has not been identified. The objective of this study was to determine whether CLA isomers can reduce obesity-related hypertension in the fa/fa Zucker rat in relation to adiponectin production and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation. Obese fa/fa Zucker rats were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) cis-9,trans-11-CLA, (2) trans-10,cis-12 (t10,c12)-CLA, (3) control or (4) captopril. After 8 weeks, systolic blood pressure increased 30% in control obese rats. This increase was attenuated 11%-13% in the t10,c12-CLA isomer and captopril groups, respectively. The t10,c12-CLA isomer concurrently elevated adiponectin levels in both plasma and adipose tissue and increased phosphorylated eNOS in adipose tissue as well as the aorta. Although a direct effect of CLA was not observed in cultured endothelial cells, direct adiponectin treatment increased phosphorylation of eNOS. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation was also increased in adipose of fa/fa Zucker rats infused with adiponectin in parallel with improvements in blood pressure. Our results suggest that the t10,c12-CLA isomer attenuates development of obesity-related hypertension, at least in part, by stimulating adiponectin production, which subsequently activates vascular eNOS.

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