[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low birth weight caused by placental insufficiency increases the risk of hypertension in young adults, particularly while ingesting a high-salt diet; however, the vascular mechanisms involved are unclear. We tested whether intrauterine fetal growth restriction results in salt-sensitive offspring that exhibit impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation, enhanced vascular contraction, and hypertension during high-salt diet feeding. Male offspring of control pregnant rats and pregnant rats with reduced uterine perfusion pressure (intrauterine growth restricted [IUGR]) were fed either a normal-sodium (NS, 1%) or a high-sodium (HS, 8%) diet. Body weight was less in IUGR/NS and IUGR/HS than in NS and HS rats. Arterial pressure was greater in IUGR/NS (144±4 mm/Hg) than in NS (131±3 mm/Hg) rats and far greater in IUGR/HS (171±12 mm/Hg) than in HS (129±2 mm/Hg) rats. In isolated, endothelium-intact aortic strips, phenylephrine (Phe, 10-5 mol/L) caused an increase in active stress that was greater in IUGR/NS (13.9±0. 9 N/m2) than in NS (8.5±0.6 N/m2) animals and far greater in IUGR/HS (18.2±1.2 N/m2) than in HS (9.4±0.8×104 N/m2) rats. Acetylcholine caused relaxation of the Phe-mediated contraction and induced vascular nitrite/nitrate production that was less in IUGR/NS than in NS animals and far less in IUGR/HS than in HS rats. NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, which inhibits nitric oxide (NO) synthase, or ODQ, which inhibits cGMP production in smooth muscle, inhibited acetylcholine relaxations and enhanced Phe contractions in NS and HS rats but not in IUGR/NS or IUGR/HS rats. Endothelium removal enhanced Phe-induced stress in NS and HS rats but not in IUGR/NS or IUGR/HS rats. endothelium-dependent relaxation via the NO-cGMP pathway in systemic vessels of IUGR rats, particularly during intake of an HS diet. This might explain the increased vasoconstriction and arterial pressure in low-birth-weight offspring during ingestion of an HS diet.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertension increases with aging, and changes in vascular estrogen receptors (ERs) may play a role in age-related hypertension in women. We tested whether age-related increases in blood pressure in female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) are associated with reduction in amount and/or vascular relaxation effects of estrogen and ER. Arterial pressure and plasma estradiol were measured in adult (12 weeks) and aging (16 months) female SHRs, and thoracic aorta was isolated for measurement of active stress, 45Ca2+ influx, and ERs. Arterial pressure was greater and plasma estradiol was less in aging females than in adult females. In aorta of adult females, Western blots revealed alpha- and beta-ERs that were slightly reduced in aging rats. In endothelium-intact vascular strips, phenylephrine (Phe; 10(-5) mol/L) caused greater active stress in aging rats (9.3+/-0.2) than in adult rats (6.2+/-0.3x10(4) N/m2). 17beta-estradiol (E2) caused relaxation of Phe contraction and stimulation of vascular nitrite/nitrate production, which was reduced in aging rats. In endothelium-denuded strips, E2 still caused relaxation of Phe contraction, which was smaller in aging rats than adult rats. KCl (51 mmol/L), which stimulates Ca2+ influx, produced greater active stress in aging rats (9.1+/-0.3) than in adult rats (5.9+/-0.2x10(4) N/m2). E2 caused relaxation of KCl contraction and inhibition of Phe- and KCl-induced 45Ca2+ influx, which were reduced in aging rats. Thus, aging in female SHR is associated with reduction in ER-mediated NO production from endothelial cells and decrease in inhibitory effects of estrogen on Ca2+ entry mechanisms of smooth muscle contraction. The age-related decrease in ER-mediated vascular relaxation may explain the increased vascular contraction and arterial pressure associated with aging in females.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low birth weight as the result of placental insufficiency increases the risk of hypertension in young adults; however, the vascular mechanisms involved are unclear. We tested the hypothesis that intrauterine fetal growth restriction caused by placental insufficiency results in low-birth-weight offspring with impaired endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation, enhanced vasoconstriction, and hypertension. The body weight and arterial pressure were measured in young (4 weeks), adolescent (8 weeks), and adult (12 weeks) male offspring of normal pregnant rats and pregnant rats with reduced uteroplacental perfusion (intrauterine growth-restricted, IUGR), and aortic strips were isolated for measurement of isometric contraction. The body weight was lower whereas the arterial pressure was higher in IUGR than normal rats at 4 weeks (113+/-3 versus 98+/-2), 8 weeks (133+/-3 versus 121+/-6), and 12 weeks (144+/-4 versus 131+/-3 mm Hg). Phe (10(-5) mol/L) caused an increase in active stress that was greater in IUGR than in normal rats at 4 weeks (12.4 versus 7.8), 8 weeks (13.3 versus 8.4), and 12 weeks (14.6 versus 9.0x10(4) N/m2). Removal of the endothelium enhanced Phe-induced stress in normal but not IUGR rats. In endothelium-intact strips, acetylcholine (ACh) caused relaxation of Phe contraction and induced nitrite/nitrate production that were smaller in IUGR than normal rats. L-NAME (10(-4) mol/L), which inhibits NO synthase, or ODQ (10(-5) mol/L), which inhibits cGMP production in smooth muscle, inhibited ACh-induced relaxation and enhanced Phe contraction in normal but not IUGR rats. Thus endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vascular relaxation is inhibited in IUGR offspring of pregnant rats with reduced uteroplacental perfusion, and this may explain the increased vascular constriction and arterial pressure in young adults with low birth weight.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of hypertension increases during the late stages of aging; however, the vascular mechanisms involved are unclear. We investigated whether the late stages of aging are associated with impaired nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vascular relaxation and enhanced vascular contraction and whether oxidative stress plays a role in the age-related vascular changes. Aging (16 mo) male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) nontreated or treated for 8 mo with the antioxidant tempol (1 mM in drinking water) or vitamin E (E; 5,000 IU/kg chow) and vitamin C (C; 100 mg. kg-1. day-1 in drinking water) and adult (12 wk) male SHR were used. After the arterial pressure was measured, aortic strips were isolated from the rats for measurement of isometric contraction. The arterial pressure and phenylephrine (Phe)-induced vascular contraction were enhanced, and the ACh-induced vascular relaxation and nitrite/nitrate production were reduced in aging compared with adult rats. In aging rats, the arterial pressure was nontreated (188 +/- 4), tempol-treated (161 +/- 6), and E + C-treated (187 +/- 1 mmHg). Phe (10-5 M) caused an increase in active stress in nontreated aging rats (14.3 +/- 1.0) that was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in tempol-treated (9.0 +/- 0.7) and E + C-treated rats (9.8 +/- 0.6 x 104 N/m2). ACh produced a small relaxation of Phe contraction in nontreated aging rats that was enhanced (P < 0.05) in tempol- and E + C-treated rats. l-NAME (10-4 M), inhibitor of NO synthase, or ODQ (10-5 M), inhibitor of cGMP production in smooth muscle, inhibited ACh relaxation and enhanced Phe contraction in tempol- and E + C-treated but not the nontreated aging rats. ACh-induced vascular nitrite/nitrate production was not different in nontreated, tempol- and E + C-treated aging rats. Relaxation of Phe contraction with sodium nitroprusside, an exogenous NO donor, was smaller in aging than adult rats but was not different between nontreated, tempol- and E + C-treated aging rats. Thus, during the late stages of aging in SHR rats, an age-related inhibition of a vascular relaxation pathway involving not only NO production by endothelial cells but also the bioavailability of NO and the smooth muscle response to NO is partially reversed during chronic treatment with the antioxidants tempol and vitamins E and C. The data suggest a role for oxidative stress in the reduction of vascular relaxation and thereby the promotion of vascular contraction and hypertension during the late stages of aging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-salt diet is often associated with increases in arterial pressure, and a role for endothelin (ET)-1 in salt-sensitive hypertension has been suggested; however, the vascular mechanisms involved are unclear. We investigated whether ET increases the sensitivity of the mechanisms of vascular contraction to changes in dietary salt intake. Active stress and 45Ca2+ influx were measured in endothelium-denuded aortic strips of male Sprague-Dawley rats not treated or chronically infused intravenously with ET (5 pmol/kg per minute) and fed either normal-sodium diet (NS, 1%) or high-sodium diet (HS, 8%) for 9 days. Phenylephrine (Phe) caused increases in active stress that were similar in NS and HS, but were greater in NS/ET (maximum, 10.5+/-0.7) than in NS (maximum, 7.4+/-0.9) rats, and further enhanced in HS/ET (maximum, 14.4+/-1.1) compared with HS rats (maximum, 8.0+/-0.8 x 10(4)N/m2). Phe was more potent in causing contraction in NS/ET than in NS rats and in HS/ET than in HS rats. In Ca2+-free (2 mmol/L EGTA) Krebs, stimulation of intracellular Ca2+ release by Phe (10(-5) mol/L) or caffeine (25 mmol/L) caused a transient contraction that was not significantly different in all groups of rats. In contrast, membrane depolarization by high-KCl solution, which stimulates Ca2+ entry from the extracellular space, caused greater contraction in ET-infused rats, particularly those on HS diet. Phe (10(-5) mol/L) caused an increase in 45Ca2+ influx that was greater in NS/ET (27.9+/-1.7) than in NS (20.1+/-1.8) rats and further enhanced in HS/ET (35.2+/-1.8) compared with HS rats (21.8+/-1.9 micromol/kg/min). The Phe-induced 45Ca2+ influx-stress relation was not different between NS and HS rats, but was enhanced in ET-infused rats particularly those on HS. The enhancement of the 45Ca2+ influx-active stress relation in ET-infused rats was not observed in vascular strips treated with the protein kinase C inhibitor GF109203X or calphostin C (10(-6) mol/L). Thus, low-dose infusion of ET, particularly during HS, is associated with increased vascular reactivity that involves Ca2+ entry from the extracellular space, but not Ca2+ release from the intracellular stores. The ET-induced enhancement of the Ca2+ influx-stress relation particularly during HS suggests activation of other mechanisms in addition to Ca2+ entry, possibly involving protein kinase C. The results suggest that ET increases the sensitivity of the mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle contraction to high dietary salt intake and may, in part, explain the possible role of ET in salt-sensitive hypertension.