Skip to main content
Log in

Vinegar decreases blood pressure by down-regulating AT1R expression via the AMPK/PGC-1α/PPARγ pathway in spontaneously hypertensive rats

European Journal of Nutrition Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article



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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K et al (2005) Global burden of hypertension: analysis of worldwide data. Lancet 365:217–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Krzesinski JM, Saint-Remy A (2012) Essential hypertension, a complex trait. Rev Med Liege 67:279–285

    Google Scholar 

  3. Leibowitz A, Faltin Z, Perl A et al (2014) Red grape berry-cultured cells reduce blood pressure in rats with metabolic-like syndrome. Eur J Nutr 53:973–980

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Girgih AT, Alashi A, He R et al (2014) Preventive and treatment effects of a hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) meal protein hydrolysate against high blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Eur J Nutr 53:1237–1246

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kondo S, Tayama K, Tsukamoto Y et al (2001) Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 65:2690–2694

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Sakakibara S, Murakami R, Takahashi M et al (2010) Vinegar intake enhances flow-mediated vasodilatation via upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 74:1055–1061

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Honsho S, Sugiyama A, Takahara A et al (2005) A red wine vinegar beverage can inhibit the renin-angiotensin system: experimental evidence in vivo. Biol Pharm Bull 28:1208–1210

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Takahara A, Sugiyama A, Honsho S et al (2005) The endothelium-dependent vasodilator action of a new beverage made of red wine vinegar and grape juice. Biol Pharm Bull 28:754–756

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. John M (2007) ACEIs, ARBs, or DRI for adults with hypertension. Comparative effectiveness review summary guides for clinicians [Internet]. Rockville (MD) (2011): Agency for healthcare research and quality (US); 2007-.AHRQ comparative effectiveness reviews

  10. Herichova I, Szantoova K (2013) Renin-angiotensin system: upgrade of recent knowledge and perspectives. Endocr Regul 47:39–52

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Bokarev IN, Matvienko EV (2013) Modern approaches to the treatment of primary arterial hypertension. Klin Med (Mosk) 91:4–8

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ketsawatsomkron P, Pelham CJ, Groh S et al (2010) Does peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR gamma) protect from hypertension directly through effects in the vasculature? J Biol Chem 285:9311–9316

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Diep QN, El Mabrouk M, Cohn JS et al (2002) Structure, endothelial function, cell growth, and inflammation in blood vessels of angiotensin II-infused rats: role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Circulation 105:2296–2302

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Imayama I, Ichiki T, Inanaga K et al (2006) Telmisartan downregulates angiotensin II type 1 receptor through activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. Cardiovasc Res 72:184–190

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Burns KA, Vanden Heuvel JP (2007) Modulation of PPAR activity via phosphorylation. Biochim Biophys Acta 1771:952–960

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Yamashita H, Maruta H, Jozuka M et al (2009) Effects of acetate on lipid metabolism in muscles and adipose tissues of type 2 diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 73:570–576

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Cao LQ, Chen XL, Wang Q et al (2007) Upregulation of PTEN involved in rosiglitazone-induced apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin 28:879–887

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Entani E, Asai M, Tsujihata S et al (1998) Antibacterial action of vinegar against food-borne pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli O157:H7. J Food Prot 61:953–959

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Fushimi T, Suruga K, Oshima Y et al (2006) Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Br J Nutr 95:916–924

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Shishehbor F, Mansoori A, Sarkaki AR et al (2008) Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pak J Biol Sci 11:2634–2638

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ (2004) Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 27:281–282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L et al (2005) Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 59:983–988

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Johnston CS, White AM, Kent SM (2009) Preliminary evidence that regular vinegar ingestion favorably influences hemoglobin A1c values in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 84:e15–e17

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Kishi M, Fukaya M, Tsukamoto Y et al (1999) Enhancing effect of dietary vinegar on the intestinal absorption of calcium in ovariectomized rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 63:905–910

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Fushimi T, Tayama K, Fukaya M et al (2001) Acetic acid feeding enhances glycogen repletion in liver and skeletal muscle of rats. J Nutr 131:1973–1977

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Zhao XL, Chen J, Cui YL et al (2006) Current status of primary hypertension in China: an epidemiological study of 12 provinces, 1 autonomous regions, and 1 municipality. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 86:1148–1152

    Google Scholar 

  27. Puigserver P, Spiegelman BM (2003) Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha): transcriptional coactivator and metabolic regulator. Endocr Rev 24:78–90

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Puigserver P, Wu Z, Park CW et al (1998) A cold-inducible coactivator of nuclear receptors linked to adaptive thermogenesis. Cell 92:829–839

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Yamashita H, Kaneyuki T, Tagawa K (2001) Production of acetate in the liver and its utilization in peripheral tissues. Biochim Biophys Acta 1532:79–87

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Mallat SG, Itani HS, Tanios BY (2013) Current perspectives on combination therapy in the management of hypertension. Integr Blood Press Control 6:69–78

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Taira N (2006) Nifedipine: a novel vasodilator. Drugs 66:1–3

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


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.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Ying Li or Changhao Sun.

Additional information

Lixin Na and Xia Chu contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: