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Clin Sci (Lond). 2018 Jun 26;132(12):1315-1328. doi: 10.1042/CS20171572. Print 2018 Jun 29.

Effects of dietary salt on gene and protein expression in brain tissue of a model of sporadic small vessel disease.

Author information

1
School of Life Sciences, Thomson Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
2
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
3
Academic Department of Neuropathology, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Little France, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, U.K.
4
Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, and UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Chancellors Building, 49 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, U.K. joanna.wardlaw@ed.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The effect of salt on cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is poorly understood. We assessed the effect of dietary salt on cerebral tissue of the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP) - a relevant model of sporadic SVD - at both the gene and protein level. Methods: Brains from 21-week-old SHRSP and Wistar-Kyoto rats, half additionally salt-loaded (via a 3-week regime of 1% NaCl in drinking water), were split into two hemispheres and sectioned coronally - one hemisphere for mRNA microarray and qRT-PCR, the other for immunohistochemistry using a panel of antibodies targeting components of the neurovascular unit. Results: We observed differences in gene and protein expression affecting the acute phase pathway and oxidative stress (ALB, AMBP, APOH, AHSG and LOC100129193, up-regulated in salt-loaded WKY versus WKY, >2-fold), active microglia (increased Iba-1 protein expression in salt-loaded SHRSP versus salt-loaded WKY, p<0.05), vascular structure (ACTB and CTNNB, up-regulated in salt-loaded SHRSP versus SHRSP, >3-fold; CLDN-11, VEGF and VGF down-regulated >2-fold in salt-loaded SHRSP versus SHRSP) and myelin integrity (MBP down-regulated in salt loaded WKY rats versus WKY, >2.5-fold). Changes of salt-loading were more pronounced in SHRSP and occurred without an increase in blood pressure in WKY rats.

CONCLUSION:

Salt exposure induced changes in gene and protein expression in an experimental model of SVD and its parent rat strain in multiple pathways involving components of the glio-vascular unit. Further studies in pertinent experimental models at different ages would help clarify the short- and long-term effect of dietary salt in SVD.

KEYWORDS:

SHRSP; Salt; Small Vessel; White Matter; stroke

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