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Choice of diet impacts the incidence of stroke-related symptoms in the spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rat model

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The spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone (SHRSP) rat is a commonly used model of cerebrovascular disease and hypertension. SHRSP rats have been shown to develop stroke-related symptoms (SRS) by age 14 weeks when fed a purified diet, such as AIN-93G, supplemented with 1% NaCl. We conducted a pathology pilot study to compare the incidence of SRS in SHRSP rats fed either AIN-93G (with 1% NaCl in drinking water) or commercially available rat chow (with 4% NaCl in the diet), starting at 8 weeks of age. These results prompted us to analyze data from 5 earlier feeding trials using SHRSP rats. Overall, we found that SHRSP rats fed AIN-93G purified diet for 8 or 17 weeks did not demonstrate SRS (n = 18), whereas all SHRSP rats fed lab chow exhibited SRS at age 15.1 ± 0.6 weeks (n = 23). In addition, SHRSP rats fed lab chow had decreased mass gain starting at age 13 weeks, as well as decreased feed efficiencies after the first 5 weeks of feeding (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our data suggest that diet composition is a major contributor to the onset of stroke in SHRSP rats and that diet choice should be critically evaluated based on endpoint measures in the SHRSP model.
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Keywords: AIN-93G diet; SHRSP; animal model; diète AIN-93G; diète purifiée; hypertension; lab chow; modèle animal; moulée; purified diet; stroke-related symptoms; symptômes apparentés aux accidents vasculaires cérébraux

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4P3, Canada. 2: Department of Family and Nutritional Sciences, 550 University Avenue, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4P3, Canada.

Publication date: February 20, 2012

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