While essential hypertension may be characterized by insulin resistance, it is unclear which defect is primary. We therefore compared normotensive Sprague-Dawley male rats who drank N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 1 mg/mL in distilled water), with control rats who drank distilled water. Blood pressure was measured noninvasively, weight was controlled by dietary restriction, and glucose tolerance was assessed via oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT). Blood pressure rose by the second day of L-NAME treatment, and remained elevated throughout the study, in contrast to the rats drinking water (P < .001). Weight rose similarly in both groups. OGTT were performed after 2 weeks of L-NAME. Serum glucose and insulin responses, assessed by two-way ANOVA, were similar in the two groups (P = NS). In summary, L-NAME administration resulted in hypertension, but not a deterioration in glucose tolerance in diet-controlled Sprague-Dawley rats. We conclude that the insulin resistance of some hypertensive states is not the result of hypertension per se, or increased vasoconstriction, such as might result from inhibition of endogenous nitric oxide synthesis, but rather indicates a fundamental metabolic disorder.
- insulin resistance
- N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)
- Nitric oxide
- Sprague-Dawley rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine