Mechanism of vasoconstriction induced by chronic inhibition of nitric oxide in rats.
Either acute or chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis by L-arginine analogues results in increases in mean arterial pressure and reductions in renal blood flow. The role of endogenous vasoconstrictors in mediating these effects is not entirely clear. In the present study, nitric oxide was inhibited in male Sprague-Dawley rats by oral administration of nitro-L-arginine for 3 weeks. At the end of this time, mean arterial pressure was 30 to 40 mm Hg higher than in normal controls, renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate were 25% to 30% lower, and renal vascular resistance was markedly increased. Intravenous infusion of receptor antagonists for angiotensin II, thromboxane, epinephrine, and endothelin-1 had no significant effect on the hypertension. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and furosemide-induced diuresis in the presence of angiotensin blockade also had no effect on blood pressure. Renal vascular resistance was also unaffected by these interventions, except that saralasin did reduce renal resistance in both control and nitric oxide-inhibited groups. However, the absolute level of renal vascular resistance remained higher in the latter group. Calcium channel blockade partially corrected blood pressure and renal resistance, but the levels remained significantly higher than in control animals. The findings are consistent with the view that the increase in vascular smooth muscle tone caused by inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis cannot be accounted for by overexpression of common endogenous vasoconstrictors. Rather, the generalized increase in vascular smooth muscle tone appears to be due to a direct effect of reduced nitric oxide availability, which may lead to an increase in intracellular calcium concentration or sensitivity.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association