Selective Regulation of Blood Pressure by Heme Oxygenase-1 in Hypertension
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Heme oxygenase (HO) and carbon monoxide (CO) participate in the homeostatic control of cardiovascular functions, including the regulation of blood pressure (BP). Upregulation of the HO/CO system has been shown to lower BP in young (8 weeks) but not in adult (20 weeks) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The underlying mechanism for this selective effect, however, has been unknown and was investigated in the present study. The administration of hemin resulted in a marked decrease in BP (from 148.6±3.2 to 125.8±2.6 mm Hg, P<0.01) in young but not in prehypertensive (4 weeks) or adult SHR or Wistar-Kyoto rats at all ages. The inhibition of HO with chromium mesoporphyrin abrogated the BP-lowering effect of hemin. Significantly lower expression levels of HO-1 and soluble gyanylyl cyclase (sGC) as well as reduced cGMP content were detected in 8-week SHR but not in adult SHR or Wistar-Kyoto rats of all ages. These deficiencies were all corrected by hemin treatment. The expression of HO-2 protein was not different among all animal groups tested and not affected by hemin treatment. Desensitization of the sGC/cGMP pathway in adult SHR was demonstrated by the reduced vasorelaxant potency of the sGC activator 3-(5′ -hydroxymethyl-2-′furyl)-1-benzylindazole. Thus, in young and prehypertensive SHR, a defective HO/CO-sGC/cGMP system might constitute a pathogenic mechanism for the development of hypertension. The HO/CO-sGC/cGMP system appears normal in adult SHR, but desensitization of the downstream targets of the system to sGC/cGMP may endow SHR at this stage a persistent hypertension status.
- cyclic GMP
- hypertension, experimental
- rats, spontaneously hypertensive
- mesenteric arteries
- heme oxygenase
- Received February 13, 2002.
- Revision received March 6, 2002.
- Accepted June 25, 2002.