Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2021 Jan;25(1):27-38. 10.4196/kjpp.2021.25.1.27.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid-salt attenuated high cholesterol/high salt diet induced hypertension in mice

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Gachon University College of Medicine, Korea
  • 2Functional Cellular Networks Laboratory, Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, Gachon University, Incheon 21999, Korea
  • 3Marine Bioprocess Co., Ltd., Busan 46048, Korea
  • 4Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon 21565, Korea


Excessive salt intake induces hypertension, but several gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure. GABAsalt, a fermented salt by L. brevis BJ20 containing GABA was prepared through the post-fermentation with refined salt and the fermented GABA extract. We evaluated the effect of GABA-salt on hypertension in a high salt, high cholesterol diet induced mouse model. We analyzed type 1 macrophage (M1) polarization, the expression of M1 related cytokines, GABA receptor expression, endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, and medial thicknesses in mice model. GABA-salt attenuated diet-induced blood pressure increases, M1 polarization, and TNF-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS) levels in mouse aortas, and in salt treated macrophages in vitro. Furthermore, GABA-salt induced higher GABAB receptor and endothelial NOS (eNOS) and eNOS phosphorylation levels than those observed in salt treated ECs. In addition, GABA-salt attenuated EC dysfunction by decreasing the levels of adhesion molecules (E-selectin, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 [ICAM-1], vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 [VCAM-1]) and of von Willebrand Factor and reduced EC death. GABA-salt also reduced diet-induced reductions in the levels of eNOS, phosphorylated eNOS, VSMC proliferation and medial thickening in mouse aortic tissues, and attenuated Endothelin-1 levels in salt treated VSMCs. In summary, GABA-salt reduced high salt, high cholesterol diet induced hypertension in our mouse model by reducing M1 polarization, EC dysfunction, and VSMC proliferation.


Blood pressure; Endothelial cells; Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-salt; Macrophage polarization; Smooth muscle cells
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