Time course of vascular structural changes during and after short-term antihypertensive treatment

Taben M. Hale, Martin J. Shoichet, Terri L. Bushfield, Michael A. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The present study characterized the persistent changes (ie, off-treatment) resulting from short-term antihypertensive treatments on mean arterial pressure (MAP) and structurally based vascular resistance. Rats were treated for 14 days with enalapril (30 mg · kg-1 · d-1) with regular (ENAL, 0.4%) or low salt (ELS, 0.04%) diets, or a triple therapy (Triple: hydralazine 45 mg · kg-1 · d-1, hydrochlorothiazide 100 mg/L, and nifedipine 200 mg/d). MAP was continuously recorded via radiotelemetry. Structurally based hindlimb vascular resistance properties (resistance at maximum dilation [Max Dil]; resistance at maximum constriction [Max Con]) were assessed after 14-day enalapril treatment and 2 to 3 weeks after all drugs were withdrawn. Aortic urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) activity was measured by zymography after 14 days of ELS. All treatments induced a significant, persistent decrease in the off-treatment MAP (ENAL ↓ 12±4.6%, ELS ↓16±2.6%, Triple ↓ 5±4.17%). During treatment (14 days) the enalapril group had significant changes in the index of medial bulk (Max Con ↓ 15±2.6%), but only minimal changes in lumen properties (Max Dil ↓ 3±6.5%, NS). After stopping therapy, vascular properties at Max Dil were significantly decreased only in the 2 enalapril groups (ENAL ↓ 15±7.9%, P < 0.05; ELS ↓ 9±6.0%, P < 0.05; Triple ↓ 2±9.8%, NS), whereas Max Con was significantly decreased in all groups (ENAL ↓ 12±8.0%, ELS ↓ 16±6.1%, Triple ↓ 7±5.4%). At 14 days of ELS treatment, there was increased aortic uPA activity (1.6-fold). The findings reveal that various short-term antihypertensive treatments can produce persistent long-term changes in MAP and vascular structure. Further, the magnitude of the depressor response may be as important in inducing persistent changes as is the removal of angiotensin II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Antihypertensive agents
  • Arterial pressure
  • Hypertension, experimental
  • Rats, inbred SHR
  • Sodium, dietary
  • Vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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