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Monday, October 15, 2012

Differential modulation by vascular nitric oxide synthases of the ethanol-evoked hypotension and autonomic dysfunction in female rats

We recently reported that chronic exposure to ethanol lowers blood pressure (BP) via altering cardiac contractility and autonomic control in female rats. 

In this investigation we conducted pharmacological and molecular studies to elucidate the role of constitutive and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in these hemodynamic effects of ethanol. Changes caused by selective inhibition of eNOS [N5-(1-iminoethyl)-l-ornithine; l-NIO], nNOS (Nω-propyl-l-arginine; NPLA), or iNOS (1400W) in BP, heart rate (HR), myocardial contractility index (dP/dtmax), and power spectral indices of hemodynamic variability were evaluated in telemetered female rats receiving ethanol (5%, w/v) or control liquid diet for 8 weeks. 

Ethanol increased plasma nitrite/nitrate (NOx) and enhanced the phosphorylation of eNOS and nNOS, but not iNOS, in the tail artery.

Ethanol also reduced BP, +dP/dtmax, low-frequency bands of interbeat intervals (IBILF, 0.25–0.75 Hz) and IBILF/HF ratio while high-frequency bands (IBIHF, 0.75–3 Hz) were increased, suggesting parasympathetic overactivity. 

l-NIO (20 mg/kg i.p.) caused greater increases in BP in control than in ethanol-fed rats but elicited similar reductions in IBILF/HF and +dP/dtmax both groups. NPLA (1 mg/kg i.p.) caused minimal effects in control rats but exacerbated the reductions in BP, +dP/dtmax, and IBILF/HF in ethanol-fed rats.

 No hemodynamic modifications were caused by 1400W (5 mg/kg i.p.) in either rat group.

Together, these findings suggest that nNOS acts tonically to offset the detrimental cardiovascular actions of ethanol in female rats, and the enhanced vascular NO bioavailability may explain the blunted l-NIO evoked pressor response in ethanol-fed rats.

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