Age and hypertension promote endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine in the aorta of the rat.
This study was undertaken to compare age-related changes in endothelium-dependent vascular responses in both hypertensive and normotensive rats. Aorta from normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) aged 4-6 weeks (young), 3-6 months (adult), and 12-25 months (old) were examined for relaxation to acetylcholine, adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), and sodium nitroprusside. Rubbed (endothelium denuded) aorta from all groups displayed neither relaxation nor contraction to acetylcholine. Maximal relaxation responses to acetylcholine were reduced progressively with increasing age in unrubbed aorta of both SHR and WKY rats. In addition, acetylcholine caused not only dose-dependent relaxations at lower concentrations but also increases in tension at higher concentrations in unrubbed aorta of old WKY rats as well as adult and old SHR. However, indomethacin completely inhibited the tension development. As a result, aorta treated with indomethacin demonstrated similar acetylcholine-induced, endothelium-dependent relaxations in all groups. The thromboxane A2 synthetase inhibitor (E)-7-phenyl-7-(3-pyridyl)-6-heptanoic acid (CV-4151) partially but significantly depressed the increases in tension in aorta of old WKY rats. The degrees of endothelium-dependent relaxations to ATP and endothelium-independent relaxations to sodium nitroprusside were almost similar in all groups. These findings suggest that the release of or vascular responsiveness to endothelium-derived relaxing factor in the aorta is well maintained through senescence in both strains and that, in the aorta of not only SHR but also old normotensive WKY rats, the endothelium releases contracting factors that may be thromboxane A2 and other vasoconstrictor prostanoids.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association