Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism prevents obesity-induced cerebral artery remodeling and reduces white matter injury in rats

Paulo W. Pires, Jonathon L. McClain, Sebastian F. Hayoz, Anne M. Dorrance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Midlife obesity is a risk factor for dementia development. Obesity has also been linked to hyperaldosteronism, and this can be modeled in rats by high fat (HF) feeding from weaning. Aldosterone, or activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) causes cerebrovascular injury in lean hypertensive rats. We hypothesized that rats fed a HF diet would show inward middle cerebral artery (MCA) remodeling that could be prevented by MR antagonism. We further proposed that the cerebral artery remodeling would be associated with white mater injury. Methods: Three-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a HF diet ± the MR antagonist canrenoic acid (Canr) for 17 weeks. Control rats received normal chow (control NC). MCA structure was assessed by pressure myography. Results: The MCAs from HF fed rats had smaller lumens and thicker walls when compared to arteries from control NC rats; Canr prevented the MCA remodeling associated with HF feeding. HF feeding increased the mRNA expression of markers of cell proliferation and vascular inflammation in cerebral arteries and Canr treatment prevented this. White mater injury was increased in the rats fed the HF diet and this was reduced by Canr treatment. The expression of doublecortin, a marker of new and immature neurons was reduced in HF fed rats, and MR antagonism normalized this. Conclusions: These data suggest that HF feeding leads to MR dependent remodeling of the MCA and this is associated with markers of dementia development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12460
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • middle cerebral artery
  • mineralocorticoid receptor
  • obesity
  • vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism prevents obesity-induced cerebral artery remodeling and reduces white matter injury in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this