Role of Nitric Oxide Synthase Uncoupling at Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla in Redox-Sensitive Hypertension Associated With Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is rapidly becoming prevalent worldwide, is long known to be associated with hypertension and recently with oxidative stress. Of note is that oxidative stress in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), where sympathetic premotor neurons reside, contributes to sympathoexcitation and hypertension. This study sought to identify the source of tissue oxidative stress in RVLM and their roles in neural mechanism of hypertension associated with MetS. Adult normotensive rats subjected to a high-fructose diet for 8 weeks developed metabolic traits of MetS, alongside increases in sympathetic vasomotor activity and blood pressure. In RVLM of these MetS rats, the tissue level of reactive oxygen species was increased, nitric oxide (NO) was decreased, and mitochondrial electron transport capacity was reduced. Whereas the protein expression of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) or protein inhibitor of nNOS was increased, the ratio of nNOS dimer/monomer was significantly decreased. Oral intake of pioglitazone or intracisternal infusion of tempol or coenzyme Q10 significantly abrogated all those molecular events in high-fructose diet–fed rats and ameliorated sympathoexcitation and hypertension. Gene silencing of protein inhibitor of nNOS mRNA in RVLM using lentivirus carrying small hairpin RNA inhibited protein inhibitor of nNOS expression, increased the ratio of nNOS dimer/monomer, restored NO content, and alleviated oxidative stress in RVLM of high-fructose diet–fed rats, alongside significantly reduced sympathoexcitation and hypertension. These results suggest that redox-sensitive and protein inhibitor of nNOS–mediated nNOS uncoupling is engaged in a vicious cycle that sustains the production of reactive oxygen species in RVLM, resulting in sympathoexcitation and hypertension associated with MetS.
- metabolic cardiovascular syndrome
- nitric oxide
- reactive oxygen species
- sympathetic nervous system
- Received April 21, 2014.
- Revision received May 5, 2014.
- Accepted May 26, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.