Fructose-induced insulin resistance and hypertension in rats.
To determine if hypertension could be produced in normal rats by feeding them a fructose-enriched diet, Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either normal chow or a diet containing 66% fructose as a percentage of total calories for approximately 2 weeks. At the end of this period systolic blood pressure had increased from 124 +/- 2 to 145 +/- 2 (SEM) mm Hg in the fructose-fed rats, whereas no change occurred in the control group. In addition, hyperinsulinemia and hypertriglyceridemia were associated with hypertension in fructose-fed rats. The addition of clonidine to the drinking water inhibited fructose-induced hypertension, but not the increase in plasma insulin or triglyceride concentration seen in fructose-fed rats. Thus, the metabolic changes associated with fructose-induced hypertension are unlikely to be secondary to an increase in sympathetic activity. Whether or not this is also true of the hypertension remains to be clarified.