Upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase contributes to attenuated cutaneous vasodilation in essential hypertensive humans.

Caroline J. Smith, Lakshmi Santhanam, Rebecca S. Bruning, Anna Stanhewicz, Dan E. Berkowitz, Lacy A. Holowatz

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100 Scopus citations


Essential hypertension is a proinflammatory, proconstrictor disease coinciding with endothelial dysfunction and inward vessel remodeling. Using the skin circulation, our aim was to determine whether inducible NO synthase (iNOS) upregulation attenuates NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilation in hypertensive humans. We hypothesized that, with hypertension, localized iNOS inhibition would restore vasodilation in response to NO-dependent stimuli, and iNOS expression would be increased and phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein would be decreased. For, in vivo protocols, 4 intradermal microdialysis fibers were placed in 9 hypertensive and 10 normotensive men and women (systolic blood pressure: 146±4 versus 113±2 mm Hg; P<0.001). Microdialysis fibers served as control, iNOS inhibited (1400 W), neuronal NO synthase inhibited (N(ω)-propyl-l-arginine), and nonselective NOS inhibited (N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester). Cutaneous vascular conductance was calculated (percentage of sodium nitroprusside) during standardized local heating (42°C) and acetylcholine dose-response protocols (0.01, 0.10, 1.00, 5.00, 10.00, 50.00, 100.00 mmol/L). The NO-dependent local heating response was attenuated at control (95±2% versus 76±2% cutaneous vascular conductance; P<0.05) and neuronal NO synthase-inhibited sites (94±4% versus 77±3% cutaneous vascular conductance; P<0.01) in hypertensives. iNOS inhibition augmented the NO-dependent local heating response (93±2% versus 89±10% cutaneous vascular conductance). Acetylcholine-induced vasodilation was attenuated in control sites at doses ≥0.1 mmol/L of acetylcholine in hypertensives and was restored with iNOS inhibition (0.1 mmol/L, P<0.05; 1, 5, and 10 mmol/L, P<0.001; 50 and 100 mmol/L, P<0.01). In vitro iNOS expression was increased (P=0.006) and phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein was decreased in skin from hypertensive humans (P=0.04). These data suggest that iNOS is upregulated in essential hypertensive humans and contributes to reduced NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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