We determined the contribution of vascular large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) and L-type Ca2+ channel dysregulation to exaggerated mortality in cecal ligation/puncture (CLP)-induced septic BK channel ?1-subunit knockout (BK ?1-KO, smooth muscle specific) mice. CLP-induced hemodynamic changes and mortality were assessed over 7 days in wild-type (WT) and BK ?1-KO mice that were either untreated, given volume resuscitation (saline), or saline + calcium channel blocker nicardipine. Some mice were euthanized 24 h post-CLP to measure tissue injury and vascular and immune responses. CLP-induced hypotension was similar in untreated WT and BK ?1-KO mice, but BK ?1-KO mice died sooner. At 24 h post-CLP (mortality latency in BK ?1-KO mice), untreated CLP-BK ?1-KO mice showed more severe hypothermia, lower tissue perfusion, polymorphonuclear neutrophil infiltration-independent severe intestinal necrosis, and higher serum cytokine levels than CLP-WT mice. Saline resuscitation improved survival in CLP-WT but not CLP-BK ?1-KO mice. Saline + nicardipine-treated CLP-BK ?1-KO mice exhibited longer survival times, higher tissue perfusion, less intestinal injury, and lower cytokines versus untreated CLP-BK ?1-KO mice. These improvements were absent in treated CLP-WT mice, although saline + nicardipine improved blood pressure similarly in both septic mice. At 24 h post-CLP, BK and L-type Ca2+ channel functions in vitro were maintained in mesenteric arteries from WT mice. Mesenteric arteries from BK ?1-KO mice had blunted BK/enhanced L-type Ca2+ channel function. We conclude that vascular BK channel deficiency exaggerates mortality in septic BK ?1-KO mice by activating L-type Ca2+ channels leading to blood pressure-independent tissue ischemia.
Xanthine oxidase and its products, uric acid and ROS, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension. We have previously reported that allopurinol inhibition of XO does not alter the progression of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertension in rats. However other researchers have observed a reduction in blood pressure after allopurinol treatment in the same model. To resolve this controversy, in this study we used the newer and more effective XO inhibitor febuxostat, and hypothesized that a more complete XO blockade might impair hypertension development and its end-organ consequences. We used DOCA-salt hypertensive rats and administered vehicle (salt water) or febuxostat (orally, 5 mg/kg/day in salt water) in a short-term "reversal" experiment (2 weeks of treatment 3 weeks after DOCA-salt beginning) and a long-term "prevention" experiment (treatment throughout 4 weeks of DOCA-salt). We confirmed XO inhibition by febuxostat by measuring circulating and tissue levels of XO metabolites. We found an overall increase in hypoxanthine (XO substrate) and decrease in uric acid (XO product) levels following febuxostat treatment. However, despite a trend for reduced blood pressure in the last week of long-term febuxostat treatment, no statistically significant difference in hemodynamic parameters was observed in either study. Additionally, no change was observed in relative heart and kidney weight. Aortic media/lumen ratio was minimally improved by long-term febuxostat treatment. Additionally, febuxostat incubation in vitro did not modify contraction of aorta or vena cava to norepinephrine, angiotensin II or endothelin-1. We conclude that XO inhibition is insufficient to attenuate hypertension in the rat DOCA-salt model, although beneficial vascular effects are possible.
Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are a family of zinc peptidases involved in extracellular matrix turnover. There is evidence that increased MMP activity is involved in remodeling of resistance vessels in chronic hypertension. Thus we hypothesized that inhibition of MMP activity with doxycycline (DOX) would attenuate vascular remodeling. Six-week-old male stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) were treated with DOX (50 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) in the drinking water) for 6 wk. Untreated SHRSP were controls. Blood pressure was measured by telemetry during the last week. Middle cerebral artery (MCA) and mesenteric resistance artery (MRA) passive structures were assessed by pressure myography. MMP-2 expression in aortas was measured by Western blot. All results are means ± SE. DOX caused a small increase in mean arterial pressure (SHRSP, 154 ± 1; SHRSP + DOX, 159 ± 3 mmHg; P < 0.001). Active MMP-2 expression was reduced in aorta from SHRSP + DOX (0.21 ± 0.06 vs. 0.49 ± 0.13 arbitrary units; P < 0.05). In the MCA, at 80 mmHg, DOX treatment increased the lumen (273.2 ± 4.7 vs. 238.3 ± 6.3 ?m; P < 0.05) and the outer diameter (321 ± 5.3 vs. 290 ± 7.6 ?m; P < 0.05) and reduced the wall-to-lumen ratio (0.09 ± 0.002 vs. 0.11 ± 0.003; P < 0.05). Damage after transient cerebral ischemia (transient MCA occlusion) was reduced in SHRSP + DOX (20.7 ± 4 vs. 45.5 ± 5% of hemisphere infarcted; P < 0.05). In the MRA, at 90 mmHg DOX, reduced wall thickness (29 ± 1 vs. 22 ± 1 ?m; P < 0.001) and wall-to-lumen ratio (0.08 ± 0.004 vs. 0.11 ± 0.008; P < 0.05) without changing lumen diameter. These results suggest that MMPs are involved in hypertensive vascular remodeling in both the peripheral and cerebral vasculature and that DOX reduced brain damage after cerebral ischemia.
Women are exposed to estrogen in several forms, such as oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy. Although estrogen was believed to be cardioprotective, lately, its beneficial effects are being questioned. Recent studies indicate that oxidative stress in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) may play a role in the development of hypertension. Therefore, we hypothesized that chronic exposure to low levels of estradiol-17? (E(2)) leads to hypertension in adult-cycling female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats potentially through generation of superoxide in the RVLM. To test this hypothesis, young adult (3 or 4 mo old) female SD rats were either sham-implanted or implanted (subcutaneously) with slow-release E(2) pellets (20 ng/day) for 90 days. A group of control and E(2)-treated animals were fed lab chow or chow containing resveratrol (0.84 g/kg of chow), an antioxidant. Rats were implanted with telemeters to continuously monitor blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). At the end of treatment, the RVLM was isolated for measurements of superoxide. E(2) treatment significantly increased mean arterial pressure (mmHg) and HR (beats/min) compared with sham rats (119.6 ± 0.8 vs. 105.1 ± 0.7 mmHg and 371.7 ± 1.5 vs. 354.4 ± 1.3 beats/min, respectively; P < 0.0001). Diastolic and systolic BP were significantly increased in E(2)-treated rats compared with control animals. Superoxide levels in the RVLM increased significantly in the E(2)-treated group (0.833 ± 0.11 nmol/min·mg) compared with control (0.532 ± 0.04 nmol/min·mg; P < 0.05). Treatment with resveratrol reversed the E(2)-induced increases in BP and superoxide levels in the RVLM. In conclusion, these findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to low levels of E(2) induces hypertension and increases superoxide levels in the RVLM and that this effect can be reversed by resveratrol treatment.
Large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels are composed of pore-forming ?-subunits and accessory ?1-subunits that modulate Ca2+ sensitivity. BK channels regulate arterial myogenic tone and renal Na+ clearance/K+ reabsorption. Previous studies using indirect or short-term blood pressure measurements found that BK channel ?1-subunit knockout (BK ?1-KO) mice were hypertensive. We evaluated 24-h mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate in BK ?1-KO mice using radiotelemetry. BK ?1-KO mice did not have a higher 24-h average MAP when compared with wild-type (WT) mice, although MAP was ?10 mmHg higher at night. The dose-dependent peak declines in MAP by nifedipine were only slightly larger in BK ?1-KO mice. In BK ?1-KO mice, giving 1% NaCl to mice to drink for 7 days caused a transient (5 days) elevation of MAP (?5 mmHg); MAP returned to pre-saline levels by day 6. BK ?1-KO mesenteric arteries in vitro demonstrated diminished contractile responses to paxilline, increased reactivity to Bay K 8644 and norepinephrine (NE), and maintained relaxation to isoproterenol. Paxilline and Bay K 8644 did not constrict WT or BK ?1-KO mesenteric veins (MV). BK ?1-subunits are not expressed in MV. The results indicate that BK ?1-KO mice are not hypertensive on normal or high-salt intake. BK channel deficiency increases arterial reactivity to NE and L-type Ca2+ channel function in vitro, but the L-type Ca2+ channel modulation of MAP is not altered in BK ?1-KO mice. BK and L-type Ca(2+) channels do not modulate murine venous tone. It appears that selective loss of BK channel function in arteries only is not sufficient to cause sustained hypertension.
Aldosterone has been linked to the deleterious cardiovascular effects of obesity in humans. The association of aldosterone with obesity in rodents is less well defined, particularly in models of diet-induced obesity. We hypothesized that adrenal aldosterone production and aldosterone synthase expression would be increased in rats with obesity-induced hypertension. Male Sprague Dawley rats were fed a high-fat (HF: 36% fat) or control diet from 3 wk of age, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured by telemetry. MAP was increased after 4 wk of HF diet; this was 6 wk before changes in body weight. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism did not prevent the HF-induced increase in MAP. After 17 wk on the diets, HF rats had increased body and fat weights (abdominal and epididymal) and were insulin resistant (Homeostasis Model Assessment index: 3.53 ± 0.43 vs. 8.52 ± 1.77; control vs. HF, P < 0.05). Plasma aldosterone levels were increased in the HF rats (64.14 ± 14.96 vs. 206.25 ± 47.55 pg/ml; control vs. HF, P < 0.05). This occurred independently of plasma renin activity (4.8 ± 0.92 vs. 4.73 ± 0.66 ng/ml/h, control vs. HF). The increase in aldosterone was accompanied by a 2-fold increase in adrenal aldosterone synthase mRNA expression and zona glomerulosa hypertrophy. Rats were also studied after 8 wk of HF diet, a time when MAP, but not body weight, was increased. At this time plasma aldosterone was unchanged but plasma renin activity was increased (4.4 ± 0.5 vs. 8.1 ± 1.3 ng/ml/h; control vs. HF, P < 0.05). These studies suggest that rats fed a HF diet from weaning may be a useful model for studying obesity-associated hyperaldosteronism.
A 7-day infusion of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) causes a sustained fall in elevated blood pressure in the male deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt rat. As hypertension is a long-term disease, we presently test the hypothesis that a longer (30 day) 5-HT infusion could cause a sustained fall in blood pressure in the established hypertensive DOCA-salt rat. This time period (?4 weeks) was also sufficient to test whether 5-HT could attenuate the development of DOCA-salt hypertension. 5-HT (25 ?g/kg/min; sc) or vehicle (Veh) was delivered via osmotic pump to (1) established DOCA-salt rats for one month, (2) Sprague-Dawley rats prior to DOCA-salt administration for one month, and blood pressure and heart rate measured telemetrically. On the final day of 5-HT infusion, free platelet poor plasma 5-HT concentrations were significantly higher in 5-HT versus Veh-infused rats, and mean arterial pressure was significantly lower in 5-HT-infused (135 ± 4 mmHg vs Veh-infused 151 ± 7 mmHg) established DOCA-salt rats. By contrast, 5-HT-infusion did not prevent the development of DOCA-salt hypertension (144 ± 7 mmHg vs Veh = 156 ± 6 mmHg). Isometric contraction of aortic strips was measured, and neither the potency nor maximum contraction to the alpha adrenergic receptor agonist phenylephrine (PE) or 5-HT were modified by infusion of 5-HT (established or preventative infusion), and maximum aortic relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh) was modestly but not significantly enhanced (?15% improvement). This study demonstrates 5-HT is capable of lowering blood pressure in established DOCA-salt hypertensive rats over the course of one month in a mechanism that does not significantly modify or is dependent on modified vascular responsiveness. This finding opens the possibility that elevation of 5-HT levels could be useful in the treatment of hypertension.
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