The effects of α-lipoic acid on aortic injury and hypertension in the rat remnant kidney (5/6 nephrectomy) model

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The present study was designed to investigate the effects of α-lipoic acid on the abdominal aorta and hypertension in a remnant kidney model histomorphometrically, immunohistochemically, and ultrastructurally. METHODS We surgically reduced the renal tissue mass to 5/6 by applying a remnant kidney model. The rats were divided into 4 groups: Group 1- control group, Group 2- lipoic acid group, Group 3- 5/6 nephrectomy group, and Group IV: 5/6 nephrectomy+lipoic acid-treated group. Lipoic acid solution 100 mg/kg was administered by oral gavage for 8 weeks to Groups II and IV. At the end of the experiment, systemic mean blood pressure was monitored. Then, aortic tissues were removed and fixed. After routine histological procedures, tissue sections were examined histochemically, immunohistochemically (type I angiotensin receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor, alpha-smooth muscle actin), and ultrastructurally. RESULTS The blood pressure measurements in 5/6 nephrectomy group were significantly higher compared to other groups. In the 5/6 nephrectomy+lipoic acid group, measured blood pressure values and tunica media thickness were significantly lower than in the 5/6 nephrectomy group. In the 5/6 nephrectomy+lipoic acid group, decreased aortic wall thickness, regularity in the structure of elastic fibrils, and more organized elastic lamellae were seen. The expression of type I angiotensin receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor, alpha-smooth muscle actin in the 5/6 nephrectomy+lipoic acid group was decreased compared to the 5/6 nephrectomy group. CONCLUSION In the present study, we found that α-lipoic acid could be a favorable agent for the target organ effects of secondary hypertension.

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