Hydrolase activities in the rat aorta. II. Effects of hypertension alone and in combination with diabetes mellitus.
Hypertension is an important risk factor for atherosclerosis and often occurs in association with diabetes mellitus. Specific activities of hydrolases in homogenates of aortas from rats with renal-clip hypertension, normotension following a period of hypertension, and hypertension combined with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus were measured. Enzymes included: neutral alpha-glucosidase, and lysosomal N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase, beta-galactosidase, cathepsin C, acid alpha-glucosidase, and acid cholesteryl esterase. After 6 or 12 weeks of hypertension, specific activities of all enzymes measured were significantly increased, levels ranging from 24% above normal for cathepsin C to 351% above normal for N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase. Six weeks of normotension following 6 weeks of hypertension resulted in restoration to normal of four of the six enzyme activities; the remaining two enzymes were significantly below normal levels. Combined hypertension and diabetes mellitus showed smooth muscle cell levels of four of the five hydrolases measured to be significantly lower than those present with hypertension alone. In every instance, histochemical studies of aortas showed acid phosphatase and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase activities which corresponded to the biochemical findings. These findings indicate profound and discrete effects of two clinical risk factors on vascular smooth muscle cell lysosomes.
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