Chronic exogenous hyperinsulinaemia without sugar supplementation: acute salt-sensitive hypertension without changes in resting blood pressure


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Abstract

Objective:To study the effects of chronic insulin administration without sugar supplementation on blood pressure and response to acute saline loading in normal rats.Design:Design: Comparison of blood pressure, insulin and glucose levels in 24 insulin-treated and 12 control rats on regular rat chow (not supplemented with sugar).Methods:Sustained-release insulin implants (or sham implantation for the control rats) were administered subcutaneously. The sustained-release insulin implant size was gradually increased. Tail-cuff systolic blood pressure, insulin and glucose were measured twice a week for 8 weeks, after which intra-arterial blood pressure was recorded under resting conditions and 2 h after saline loading in seven insulin-treated and seven control rats.Results:Insulin-treated rats had a 1.2- to twofold increase in insulin without hypoglycaemia, a small but significant increase in glucose levels being found at weeks 6 and 8. When the rats were killed (week 8) triglyceride and fructosamine levels were increased in the insulin-treated rats in comparison with controls. Neither tail-cuff systolic blood pressure nor resting intra-arterial blood pressure differed between the two groups. However, acute saline loading resulted in significantly higher blood pressure in the insulin-treated rats, without altering renal Na+ excretion.Conclusions:Insulin-treated rats had a 1.2- to twofold increase in insulin without hypoglycaemia, a small but significant increase in glucose levels being found at weeks 6 and 8. When the rats were killed (week 8) triglyceride and fructosamine levels were increased in the insulin-treated rats in comparison with controls. Neither tail-cuff systolic blood pressure nor resting intra-arterial blood pressure differed between the two groups. However, acute saline loading resulted in significantly higher blood pressure in the insulin-treated rats, without altering renal Na+ excretion.

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