Nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation and the regulation of arterial blood pressure

A. U. Ferrari, A. Radaelli, I. Mori, L. Mircoli, S. Perlini, P. Meregalli, L. Fedele, G. Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Conflicting evidence has been reported on the hypothesis that vascular nitric oxide (NO) release is modulated by autonomic influences. Another controversial question is whether an insufficient degree of NO-dependent vasodilation may play a contributory role in the genesis of arterial hypertension. To address these questions we evaluated NO-dependent vasodilation in conscious rats subjected to various experimental manipulations that interfere with autonomic function: chronic chemical sympathectomy (CCSx), acute ganglionic blockade (AGx) and chronic sinoaortic denervation (CSAD). Experiments were also carried out on 6-and 12-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) (i.e. during the pre-hypertensive and the early established hypertensive stage) and in age-matched Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation was quantified from the extent of blood pressure (BP) elevation in response to acute inhibition of NO synthesis by L-nitromonomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). Chronic chemical sympathectomy was produced by repeated 6-hydroxydopamine injections; AGx was induced by hexamethonium infusion; and CSAD was obtained by aortic nerve section and carotid sinus wall stripping. Nitric oxide synthesis inhibition by L-NMMA was followed by a marked BP elevation in all groups. Rats with CCSx, Agx or CSAD never showed reduced BP responses to L-NMMA compared to intact, control rats. Neither 6- nor 12-week-old SHR had attenuated pressor responses to L-NMMA compared to age-matched WKY rats. In conclusion, the data indicate that (i) in unanaesthetized quietly-behaving rats there is no significant modulation of NO release by autonomic influences and (ii) young SHR have unimpaired NO-dependent vasodilation so it is unlikely that a deficit of vascular NO release plays any etiologic role in the BP elevation of this experimental model.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Ganglionic blockade
  • L-nitromonomethyl-L-arginine
  • Nitric oxide
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rat
  • Sympathectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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