Objective: To test the hypothesis that the thiazolidinedione agent, pioglitazone, mediates its chronic BP lowering action via improving vascular reactivity. Methods and Results: Lean (Fa/fa) and obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats were treated with or without pioglitazone (20 mg/kg/day) for 4 weeks (n=8 animals per group). Pioglitazone treatment was associated with a significant improvement in oral glucose tolerance in the obese animals (p<0.05 compared with untreated obese). Pioglitazone prevented the development of hypertension seen in obese untreated rats (SBP 126±1 versus 138±1 mmHg; p<0.0001). Aortic ring preparations from pioglitazone-treated obese rats showed improved relaxation responsiveness (ED50 0.28 versus 1.15 U/ ml, p<0.001) to SOD, a NO potentiator, compared with untreated obese animals. Conclusions: SOD-mediated vasorelaxation may contribute to the chronic antihypertensive effect and/or the improvement in insulin sensitivity following pioglitazone treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine