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J Vasc Res. 1998 Nov-Dec;35(6):397-404.

Parathyroid hormone and calcitriol in hypertension caused by dietary calcium deficiency in rats.

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Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, España.


Hypertension caused by calcium deficiency in the diet has been linked with an increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcitriol levels. We evaluated arterial blood pressure (ABP), PTH, and calcitriol in normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats (SDR) and in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) fed from weaning on a control diet with a normal calcium content (1%) or a low-calcium diet (0.1%). The calcemia was also measured in the rats by colorimetric methods. The low-calcium diet decreased the calcemia in both strains and brought about an increase in the ABP which was significant in adult SDR and particularly noticeable during the early hypertensive phase in SHR. The rats fed on this diet had higher hormonal plasma levels when compared with the corresponding values in rats fed on the control diet. In particular, the SDR fed on the low-calcium diet showed much higher PTH (122.6 +/- 31.0 pg/ml, p </= 0.05) and calcitriol (458.0 +/- 13.1 pg/ml, p </= 0.01) values than the SDR fed on the control diet (PTH 31.7 +/- 2.80 pg/ml; calcitriol 292.1 +/- 17.5 pg/ml). These endocrine alterations could justify the increase in ABP caused by dietary calcium deficiency in normotensive rats. Nevertheless, the results of this study indicate that the modifications of the ABP caused by the low-calcium diet in SHR could not be correlated with significant increases in these hormones.

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