Treatment with tetrahydrobiopterin reduces blood pressure in male SHR by reducing testosterone synthesis

Lourdes A. Fortepiani, Jane F. Reckelhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatment with tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) reduces blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that chronic BH4 reduces blood pressure in male SHR by reducing testosterone biosynthesis mediated by increasing nitric oxide (NO). Male SHR, aged 17-18 wk, intact or castrated, were treated for 1 wk with BH 4 (20 mg·kg-1·day-1 ip). After 1 wk, mean arterial pressure (MAP), serum testosterone, and nitrate/nitrite excretion (NOx) were measured. MAP was significantly higher in intact males than castrated males (179 ± 2 vs. 155 ± 4 mmHg, P < 0.001). In intact males, BH4 caused a 17% reduction in MAP (148 ± 2 mmHg), had no effect on NOx, and reduced serum testosterone by 85% (24.09 ± 2.37 vs. 3.72 ± 0.73 ng/dl; P < 0.001). In castrated males, BH4 had no effect on MAP (152 ± 5 mmHg) but increased NOx by 38%. When castrated males were supplemented with testosterone, MAP increased to the same level as in intact males (180 ± 7 mmHg), and BH4 had no effect on MAP (182 ± 7 mmHg) or NOx. NO has been shown to decrease testosterone biosynthesis. Chronic sodium nitrite (70 mg·kg -1·day-1 X 1 wk) decreased MAP in intact males (150 ± 4 mmHg) but had no effect on serum testosterone (21.46 ± 3.08 ng/dl). The data suggest that BH4 reduces testosterone synthesis and thereby reduces MAP in male SHR, an androgen-dependent model of hypertension. The mechanism(s) by which BH4 reduces serum testosterone levels are not clear, but the data do not support a role for NO as a mediator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R733-R736
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume288
Issue number3 57-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Androgens
  • Castration
  • Hypertension
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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