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Perinatal treatment with L-arginine and taurine in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

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Perinatal treatment with L-arginine and taurine in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

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Hypertension, also known as ‘high blood pressure’ has become increasingly prevalent and is an important risk factor for cardiovascular and renal disease. Hypertension is defined as an elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 millimetre (mm) mercury (Hg) systolic over 90 mmHg diastolic.
Dr. Barker set at the end of the ‘80’s, the hypothesis that ‘chronic adult diseases are partly determined by events occurring in perinatal life’. This ‘programming’ can lead to hypertension and is associated with cardiovascular risk later in life. The perinatal phase is the phase around birth, when organs are not developed totally and are still plastic. Reprogramming is an inverted Barker’s hypothesis. Hypertension is associated with a deranged transcriptome and a disturbed nitric oxide / reactive oxygen species (NO/ROS) balance.
Racasan et al proved that it is possible to manipulate the NO/ROS balance during the perinatal phase with factors which correct the disturbed NO/ROS balance in a positive way. Those factors suppress the development of hypertension later in life.
Racasan et al treated pregnant spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) during the perinatal phase of the pups with a dietary mixture of L-arginine, taurine and vitamins C and E. L-arginine is a precursor of NO and taurine and vitamins C and E are anti-oxidants. This mixture should have a positive effect on both sides of the NO/ROS balance; L-arginine should increase NO production and the anti-oxidant should inhibit ROS. Blood pressure decreased compared to the control group.
Which substance causes the decrease in blood pressure? Koeners et al tested the combination of vitamins C and E, but those did not cause a decrease in blood pressure. During this research project we tested the substances L-arginine and taurine. L-arginine or taurine causes a persistent decrease in systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure. L-arginine or taurine can have an effect on the sodium handling of the treated rats. The SHR’s are subdivided in 3 groups; SHR-control, SHR-L-arginine and SHR-taurine. Those three groups were treaded perinatally. Blood pressure is measured frequently with the tail-cuff method and 24 hours urine are also collected frequently with metabolic cages. When the rats are 21-23 weeks old, they are put into a terminal experiment to measure kidney function and mean arterial pressure (MAP).
The SBP and MAP data showed no difference between the treated groups and the control groups, also sodium handling and hemodynamics were not changed in the treated animals. An explanation for those results is that L-arginine or taurine does not give the persistent lowering effect of SBP, but it is possible that a combination of L-arginine and taurine has a SBP lowering effect. L-arginine (NO-precursor) influences the NO-side of the NO/ROS balance and taurine (anti-oxidant) influences the ROS side of the NO/ROS balance, it is possible that this combination leads to SBP lowering results.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
OpleidingBiologie en Medisch Laboratorium Onderzoek
AfdelingLife Sciences en Chemistry
PartnersUniversity Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU)
Jaar2008
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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