© 2014 Sangartit et al. Background: Cadmium (Cd) is a nonessential heavy metal, causing oxidative damage to various tissues and associated with hypertension. Tetrahydrocurcumin (THU), a major metabolite of curcumin, has been demonstrated to be an antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory agent. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of THU against Cd-induced hypertension, raised arterial stiffness and vascular remodeling in mice. Methods: Male ICR mice received CdCl 2 (100 mg/l) via drinking water for 8 weeks. THU was administered intragastrically at dose of 50 or 100 mg/kg/day concurrently with Cd treatment. Results: Administration of CdCl 2 significantly increased arterial blood pressure, blunted vascular responses to vasoactive agents, increased aortic stiffness, and induced hypertrophic aortic wall remodeling by increasing number of smooth muscle cells and collagen deposition, decreasing elastin, and increasing matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 levels in the aortic medial wall. Supplementation with THU significantly decreased blood pressure, improved vascular responsiveness, and reversed the structural and mechanical alterations of the aortas, including collagen and elastin deposition. The reduction on the adverse response of Cd treatment was associated with upregulated eNOS and downregulated iNOS protein expressions, increased nitrate/nitrite level, alleviated oxidative stress and enhanced antioxidant glutathione. Moreover, THU also reduced the accumulation of Cd in the blood and tissues. Conclusions: Our results suggest that THU ameliorates cadmium-induced hypertension, vascular dysfunction, and arterial stiffness in mice through enhancing NO bioavailability, attenuating oxidative stress, improving vascular remodeling and decreasing Cd accumulation in other tissues. THU has a beneficial effect in moderating the vascular alterations associated with Cd exposure.
Sangartit, W., Kukongviriyapan, U., Donpunha, W., Pakdeechote, P., Kukongviriyapan, V., Surawattanawan, P., & Greenwald, S. E. (2014). Tetrahydrocurcumin protects against cadmium-induced hypertension, raised arterial stiffness and vascular remodeling in mice. PLoS ONE, 9(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0114908