Int J Angiol 2007; 16(3): 92-97
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1278257
Original Articles

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Interaction between the heme oxygenase system and aldosterone in hypertension

Joseph Fomusi Ndisang, Ashok Jadhav, Nina Lane
  • Department of Physiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 April 2011 (online)


The chronic intraperitoneal administration of the heme oxygenase inducer, hemin (15 mg/kg daily), for three weeks reduced blood pressure in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) from 210.1±1.03 mmHg to 127±0.9 mmHg (n=10, P<0.01) but had no effect on age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto or Sprague- Dawley strains. The antihypertensive effect of hemin was accompanied by reduced expression of aldosterone synthase messenger RNA and depleted levels of plasma aldosterone (675.7±121.6 pg/mL versus 365.7±37 pg/mL; n=4, P<0.05).

Because aldosterone is known to stimulate phospholipase C (PLC), the effect of hemin on PLC was examined. Hemin abated PLC activity (29.6± 1.5 nmol/min/mL versus 3.1±0.9 nmol/min/mL; n=5, P<0.01) and this was accompanied by depleted levels of intracellular calcium (551±46 nM versus 103.2±6.3 nM; n=4, P<0.01) in the aorta of SHR. In contrast, enhanced heme oxygenase activity and elevated cyclic GMP levels (17.74±0.08 pmol/mg versus 30.4±2.3 pmol/mg protein; n=6, P<0.01) were detected in hemin- treated SHR. Additionally, hemin therapy also suppressed inflammatory and oxidative insults by significantly reducing nuclear factor kappa B messenger RNA expression while enhancing the total antioxidant capacity (0.22±0.02 Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEA C)/mg protein versus 0.60±0.04 TEA C/mg protein; n=4, P<0.01).

The concomitant depletion of aldosterone, PLC activity, intracellular calcium and the corresponding decline of inflammatory and oxidative insults may account for the antihypertensive effects of hemin.