Empagliflozin prevents angiotensin II-induced hypertension related micro and macrovascular endothelial cell activation and diastolic dysfunction in rats despite persistent hypertension: Role of endothelial SGLT1 and 2 Article uri icon


  • SGLT2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) showed pronounced beneficial effects in patients with heart failure but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We evaluated the effect of empagliflozin, selective SGLT2i, on hypertension-induced cardiac and vascular dysfunction. Male Wistar rats received diet with or without empagliflozin (30 mg/kg/day). After 1 week, a hypertensive dose of Ang II (0.4 mg/kg/day) was administered using osmotic mini-pumps for 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure was determined by sphygmomanometry, the cardiac function by echocardiography and ex vivo (coronary microvascular endothelial cell activation, LV remodeling and fibrosis responses), and the systemic micro and macrovascular endothelial cell activation ex vivo. Empagliflozin treatment did not affect the Ang II-induced hypertensive response. Ang II treatment increased LV mass and induced LV diastolic dysfunction, fibrosis, collagen I and ANP expression, and infiltration of macrophages. In the vasculature, it caused eNOS upregulation in the aorta and down-regulation in mesenteric microvessels associated with increased oxidative stress, ACE, AT1R, VCAM-1, MCP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 and collagen I expression, increased endothelial SGLT1 staining in the aorta, mesenteric and coronary microvessels, increased SGLT1 and 2 protein levels in the aorta. All Ang II-induced cardiac and vascular responses were reduced by the empagliflozin treatment. Thus, the SGLT2i effectively attenuated the deleterious impact of Ang II-induced hypertension on target organs including cardiac diastolic dysfunction and remodeling, and endothelial cell activation and pro-atherosclerotic, pro-fibrotic and pro-remodeling responses in macro and microvessels despite persistent hypertension. © 2022 The Authors

publication date

  • 2022-01-01