ABSTRACT: Arterial hypertension (AH) is characterized by reduced nitric oxide (NO) biosynthesis, vasoconstriction, and reduced microvascular density. In this study we asked whether AH also reduces the number of microvessels by impairing angiogenesis. AH was induced in Dahl salt-sensitive rats (DSS) with a salt diet and in Wistar-Kyoto rats by inhibiting NO formation with Nomega-nitro-L-arginine (NNA). Three weeks after induction of AH, two wound chambers containing collagen I (Vitrogen) were sutured into the mesenteric cavity of each animal. After additional 14 days, wound chamber neovascularization and the extent of vascularized connective tissue ingrowth were quantified. In NNA-induced AH, the number of newly formed vessels and the ingrowth of vascularized connective tissue into the wound chamber decreased as compared to controls. However, the number of newly formed vessels and the ingrowth of vascularized connective tissue did not change with increasing blood pressure in salt-fed DSS rats as compared to those fed a normal diet. Inhibition of NO biosynthesis, but not necessarily elevating blood pressure, reduces angiogenesis. Microvascular rarefaction in AH may be partially due to reduced angiogenesis because of impaired NO biosynthesis.
Blood Pressure 02/2002; 11(2):116-24. · 1.43 Impact Factor