Thirty percent of the world population is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. High-fat/high-sucrose (HF/HS) diet (Western diet) correlates with metabolic syndrome prevalence. We characterized effects of the HF/HS diet on vascular (arterial stiffness, vasoreactivity, and coronary collateral development) and cardiac (echocardiography) function, oxidative stress, and inflammation in a rat model of metabolic syndrome (JCR rats). Furthermore, we determined whether male versus female animals were affected differentially by the Western diet. Cardiovascular function in JCR male rats was impaired versus normal Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. HF/HS diet compromised cardiovascular (dys)function in JCR but not SD male rats. In contrast, cardiovascular function was minimally impaired in JCR female rats on normal chow. However, cardiovascular function in JCR female rats on the HF/HS diet deteriorated to levels comparable to JCR male rats on the HF/HS diet. Similarly, oxidative stress was markedly increased in male but not female JCR rats on normal chow but was equally exacerbated by the HF/HS diet in male and female JCR rats. These results indicate that the Western diet enhances oxidative stress and cardiovascular dysfunction in metabolic syndrome and eliminates the protective effect of female sex on cardiovascular function, implying that both males and females with metabolic syndrome are at equal risk for cardiovascular disease.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY Western diet abolished protective effect of sex against cardiovascular disease (CVD) development in premenopausal animals with metabolic syndrome. Western diet accelerates progression of CVD in male and female animals with preexisting metabolic syndrome but not normal animals. Exacerbation of baseline oxidative stress correlates with accelerated progression of CVD in metabolic syndrome animals on Western diet.
- metabolic syndrome
- Western diet
- cardiovascular disease
- sex differences
- oxidative stress
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