Renovascular Hypertension Induces Myocardial Mitochondrial Damage, Contributing to Cardiac Injury and Dysfunction in Pigs with Metabolic Syndrome

Arash Aghajani Nargesi, Mohamed C. Farah, Xiang Yang Zhu, Lei Zhang, Hui Tang, Kyra L. Jordan, Ishran M. Saadiq, Amir Lerman, Lilach O. Lerman, Alfonso Eirin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Renovascular hypertension (RVH) often manifest with metabolic syndrome (MetS) as well. Coexisting MetS and hypertension increases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but the mechanisms underlying cardiac injury remain unknown. We hypothesized that superimposition of MetS induces myocardial mitochondrial damage, leading to cardiac injury and dysfunction in swine RVH. METHODS: Pigs were studied after 16 weeks of diet-induced MetS with or without RVH (unilateral renal artery stenosis), and Lean controls (n = 6 each). Systolic and diastolic cardiac function were assessed by multidetector CT, and cardiac mitochondrial morphology (electron microscopy) and myocardial function in tissue and isolated mitochondria. RESULTS: Body weight was similarly higher in MetS groups vs. Lean. RVH groups achieved significant stenosis and developed hypertension. Mitochondrial matrix density and adenosine triphosphate production were lower and H2O2 production higher in RVH groups vs. Lean and MetS. Lean + RVH (but not MetS + RVH) activated mitophagy, which was associated with decreased myocardial expression of mitophagy-related microRNAs. MetS groups exhibited higher numbers of intermitochondrial junctions, which could have prevented membrane depolarization/activation of mitophagy in MetS + RVH. Cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophy (increased left ventricular muscle mass), and diastolic function (decreased E/A ratio) were greater in MetS + RVH vs. Lean + RVH. CONCLUSIONS: MetS+RVH induces myocardial mitochondrial damage and dysfunction. MetS + RVH failed to activate mitophagy, resulting in greater cardiac remodeling, fibrosis, and diastolic dysfunction. Mitochondrial injury and impaired mitophagy may constitute important mechanisms and therapeutic targets to ameliorate cardiac damage and dysfunction in patients with coexisting MetS and RVH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-182
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • blood pressure
  • cardiac dysfunction
  • hypertension
  • metabolic syndrome
  • mitochondria
  • renovascular hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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