Vinegar has been reported to lower blood pressure, but its mechanism is unclear. This study explored whether vinegar plays antihypertensive effect by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway.
Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were assigned to vinegar, acetic acid, nifedipine, nifedipine + vinegar, or distilled water by oral gavage for 8 weeks. Blood and aortas were analyzed for biochemical indices and protein expression levels. Sv40-transformed aortic rat endothelia cell line (SVAREC) cells were treated with acetate at different doses for 24 h; protein expression levels were assessed.
Vinegar and acetic acid decreased blood pressure in SHRs on weeks 6 and 8, and nifedipine + vinegar had a better effect on blood pressure control than vinegar or nifedipine alone. Vinegar and acetic acid could decrease serum renin and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activities, angiotensin II and aldosterone concentrations in SHRs. Vinegar and acetic acid also increased AMP/ATP ratios and expression levels of pAMPK, PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), and PPARγ while inhibited angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) expression in SHRs. The changes in these protein expressions were also found in SVAREC cells treated with 200 or 400 μmol/L acetate. In the presence of AMPK inhibitor or PGC-1α small interfering RNA, the effects of acetate on their downstream protein expression in SVAREC cells were abolished, respectively.
Vinegar activates AMPK by increasing AMP/ATP ratios, thereby increases PGC-1α and PPARγ expressions, and inhibits AT1R expression in SHRs. Acetic acid is responsible for the antihypertensive effects of vinegar. There is a joint effect between vinegar and nifedipine in blood pressure control.
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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81202188, 81202191), 12th China Five-Year Scientific and Technical Plan (No. 2012BAI02B00), Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2013T60393), Wu Liande foundation of Harbin Medical University (WLD-QN1406), and the Key Lab Found from the Department of Education of Heilongjiang Province (YYKFKT1210).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Lixin Na and Xia Chu contributed equally to this work.
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Na, L., Chu, X., Jiang, S. et al. Vinegar decreases blood pressure by down-regulating AT1R expression via the AMPK/PGC-1α/PPARγ pathway in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Eur J Nutr 55, 1245–1253 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-015-0937-7