Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Kennedy Harris - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Dr. Chastity Bradford, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US and worldwide. Hypertension is the primary cause of CVD, and dietary intervention is a key component for cardioprotection. Pumpkin (Cucurbita Moschata) has a novel nutritional profile. Increased consumption of flavonoids can play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). An increase of 10mg/day of flavonoids have resulted in a 5% decrease in risk of CVD. We hypothesized that a pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seed-based diet should decrease mean arterial pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, and increase Angiotensin Type II receptor expression in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) rat models. Our aim was to examine potential cardioprotective effects of diets infused with pumpkin seed or pumpkin flesh in SHR and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) Rats. Methods: Examine potential cardioprotective effects of diets infused with pumpkin seed or pumpkin flesh in spontaneously hypertensive rats and WKY Rats compared to captopril therapy. Blood pressure was monitored weekly using a non-invasive blood pressure tail cuff monitor [CODA]. Left ventricles were isolated, weighed, homogenized, and assessed via Western Blot analysis. Values are expressed as ratio of left ventricle size to tibia length, and AT2R/GAPDH. Results: We studied the effects of pumpkin-based diets on mean arterial pressure and found a reduction of mean arterial pressure in response to pumpkin flesh and seed similar to captopril. When studying the effects of pumpkin-based diets on left ventricular weight to tibia length ratio, left ventricular hypertrophy was reduced with captopril treatment, and unaffected In response to pumpkin flesh or seed. In analyzing left ventricular Ang II expression in SHR & WKY provided pumpkin-based diets, LV Angiotensin II expression unaffected in response to pumpkin flesh or seed. Results were analyzed using One-way ANOVA, n=6/group. What about AT2R data? Conclusion: Mean arterial pressure is reduced SHR pumpkin flesh, SHR pumpkin seed, and with captopril treatment. Captopril treatment reduces left ventricular hypertrophy, yet left ventricular hypertrophy was unaffected in pumpkin based diets. Future directions include investigating potential mechanism of RAAS-independent left ventricular hypertrophy and examining cardiomyocyte size to further assess degree of hypertrophy.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF HBCU TIP# 1818696; NSF HBCU Implementation# 1719433
Faculty Advisor: Dr.Chastity Bradford, Cbradford@tuskegee.edu
Role: I assisted in the animal study and sacrifice. I conducted Bradford Protein Assays and Western Blotting.