Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCA311

Poster Communications

Ferulic acid alleviates haemodynamic alterations and aortic stiffness in rats fed a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet

U. Kukongviriyapan1,2, K. Senaphan3,2, W. Sangartit1,2, P. Pakdeechote1,2, V. Kukongviriyapan4, S. E. Greenwald5

1. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. 2. Cardiovascular Research Group, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. 3. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. 4. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. 5. Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic disorders including obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia. Chronic intake of high-carbohydrate and high-fat (HCHF) diet causes MetS and increases risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Increased central arterial stiffening is a marker for increased CVD risk. Compounds that could prevent MetS and improve haemodynamic status and arterial stiffening could be beneficial for health promotion. Ferulic acid (FA) is a major phenolic compound found in rice bran, cereals and various types of fruits and vegetables. This study was designed to test whether FA supplementation could restore haemodynamic status and aortic stiffness in rats fed a HCHF diet. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 g) were divided into 4 groups of 6 rats each. Group 1 was fed a standard chow diet with tap water as drinking water, and propylene glycol (PG) was administered orally as a vehicle for FA. Group 2-4 were fed a HCHF diet with 15% fructose supplemented drinking water, and administered orally with PG or FA (30 or 60 mg/kg body weight/day, respectively). Rats were given free access to the specified diet and drinking water for 16 weeks. At week 10, PG or FA was administered to rats in the assigned groups for the last 6 weeks of the experimental period. At the end of the experiment, rats were anaesthetized with an intraperitoneal injection of pentobarbital sodium (60 mg/kg). The arterial blood pressure and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were determined in vivo as previously described (Fitch et al., 2001). Subsequently, hindlimb blood flow (HBF) was measured by placing an electromagnetic flow probe around the abdominal aorta. Hindlimb vascular resistance (HVR) was calculated from the mean arterial pressure (MAP) divided by HBF. Rats were euthanized with pentobarbital sodium (120 mg/kg). Blood samples were collected for biochemical assays. Values are means ± S.E.M., compared by ANOVA. FA significantly alleviated the signs of MetS by decreasing fasting blood glucose, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides compared to HCHF controls (p<0.05). FA (30 and 60 mg/kg) significantly improved haemodynamic status by reducing MAP (116±2.0, 108±1.9 vs. 124±4.1 mmHg HCHF-fed rats, p<0.05) and HVR (23±0.9, 17±1.1 vs. 37±1.6 mmHg/mL/min/100 g tissue HCHF-fed rats, p<0.05). Aortic PWV of HCHF diet fed rats significantly increased when compared to standard chow-fed rats (p<0.05). FA (30 and 60 mg/kg) reduced aortic PWV (7.2±0.2, 6.3±0.3 vs. 8.2±0.4 m/s HCHF-fed rats, p<0.05). These data suggest the potential of FA in preventing the progression of MetS and improvement of haemodynamic status and large artery compliance.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements