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Endothelial Function In Mesenteric Resistance Arteries From The Genetically Hypertensive Rat

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1. Endothelial function in mesenteric resistance arteries (MRA) from male 12-week-old New Zealand genetically hypertensive (GH) rats and their normotensive control strain (N) was compared in vessels mounted on a wire myograph and by the production of intracellular cGMP. In parallel experiments, MRA from the spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) rat strain, in which there is an endothelial defect, and from GH rats, in which an endothelial defect was induced by chronic nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibition with N ω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), were studied.

2. Contractile responses to potassium (124 mmol/L) depolarization and to NA (10–8 to 10–4 mol/L) were similar in GH and N rats; however, in SHR, enhanced contractile responses were found (P < 0.05). The endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by acetylcholine (ACh; 10–9 to 10–4 mol/L) and endothelium- independent relaxation induced by sodium nitroprusside (SNP; 10–9 to 10–4 mol/L) were identical in preparations from GH and N. A significantly attenuated (P < 0.01) vasodilator response to ACh was observed in preparations from SHR.

3. Levels of intracellular cGMP were similar in untreated small mesenteric arterial trees from GH, N and SHR rats. Acetylcholine (10–5 mol/L) significantly (P < 0.001) increased the cGMP content in both GH and N rats. A non-significant increase occurred in cGMP content in preparations from SHR.

4. In GH rats givenL-NAME (10 mg/kg per day for up to 5 weeks), an attenuated (P < 0.01) endothelium-dependent relaxation to ACh and an enhanced (P < 0.01) endothelium- independent relaxation to SNP were observed. Lower basal cGMP levels were found in preparations fromL-NAME-treated GH rats and ACh (10–5 mol/L) failed to significantly elevate the cGMP content in these preparations.

5. These experiments failed to show evidence of reduced endothelial function in GH rats, although an endothelial defect in SHR rats and after NOS inhibition in GH rats could be demonstrated.
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Keywords: acetylcholine; cGMP; endothelium; genetically hypertensive rats; mesenteric resistance artery; nitric oxide; spontaneously hypertensive rats

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: May 1, 2002

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