Impaired arterial smooth muscle contractility plays a leading role in the development of systemic hypertension. Structural changes, such as occlusive atherosclerotic plaque formation, and functional changes, such as hormonal disturbances, play roles in pathophysiological mechanisms of altered arterial contractility. Accelerated gel contraction was accompanied by elevated secretion of MMPs into cell culture media. We found that purified polyphenols and catechins counteracted SMC-dependent collagen gel contraction; this gel relaxation effect was further enhanced by addition of ascorbic acid and amino acids lysine, arginine, cysteine and proline to green tea extract. A reduction in gel contraction correlated with decreased MMP expression. These results are significant as they indicated that nutrients can effectively counteract angiotensin-mediated excessive stimulation of arterial tissue contraction and have therapeutic potential in hypertension.
V. Ivanov, S. Ivanova, M.W. Roomi, A. Niedzwiecki, M. Rath