Abstract / Description of output
Dietary potassium (K+) supplementation is associated with a blood pressure (BP) lowering effect, but not all studies agree. Here we examined the effects of short and long-term K+ supplementation on BP in mice, whether differences depend on the accompanying anion or the sodium (Na+) intake and molecular alterations in the kidney that may underlie BP changes. Relative to the control diet, BP was higher in mice fed a high NaCl (1.57% Na+) for 7 weeks or 2 weeks with a K+-free diet. BP was highest on a K+-free/high NaCl diet. Commensurate with increased abundance and phosphorylation of the thiazide sensitive sodium-chloride-cotransporter (NCC) on the K+-free/high NaCl diet, BP returned to normal with thiazides. Three weeks of a high K+ diet (5% K+) increased BP (predominantly during night-time) independently of dietary Na+ or anion intake. Conversely, 4 days of KCl feeding reduced BP. Both feeding periods resulted in lower NCC levels, but increased levels of cleaved (active) α and γ subunits of the epithelial Na+ channel ENaC. The elevated BP after chronic K+ feeding was reduced by amiloride but not thiazide. Our results suggest that dietary K+ has an optimal threshold where it may be most effective for cardiovascular health.