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Clin Exp Hypertens. 1994 Jul;16(4):391-414.

The effects of dietary potassium on vascular and glomerular lesions in hypertensive rats.

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Department of Medicine, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Australia.


The present study examines the effects of dietary potassium (K) on hypertensive glomerular and vascular lesions in deoxycorticosterone acetate and salt induced (DOCA-salt) and two kidney one clip (2K1C) hypertensive as well as normotensive control rats. Animals received a regular (0.28% K), high (1.1% K) or low (0.07% K) potassium diet for 6 weeks. In control rats, low K diet significantly increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.05). In DOCA-salt rats, high K diet did not modify SBP or glomerular and vascular lesions while low K diet significantly increased premature death in these rats. In 2K1C rats, dietary K did not alter the blood pressure, but percentage media area (% media) of intramyocardial arteries, percentage of glomerular lesions, and renal arterial and arteriolar lesion scores were lower in high K diet rats than regular and low K diet rats (p < 0.05). This study is the first demonstration that high K diet can protect against vascular and glomerular lesions in a non salt-loaded hypertensive model. The beneficial effects of dietary K on vascular lesions are at least in part independent of changes in blood pressure, and may be renin related.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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