Nitric oxide inhibition accelerates hypertension and induces perivascular inflammation in rats

Nan Kuang Hsieh, Jia Yi Wang, Jiang Chuan Liu, Shwun De Wang, Hsing I. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


1. Inflammatory changes in peripheral arteries have been reported in animal models of hypertension. Whether they occur in cerebral arteries (CA) with hypertension induced by deprivation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) remains unknown. 2. In the present study, we compared the arteriolar injury score (AIS) and perivascular inflammation in CA between hypertensive and normotensive rats following NO deprivation with the NO synthase inhibitor Nω- nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Five-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar -Kyoto (WKY) rats were fed with L-NAME (1 mg/mL) for 4 weeks. 3. Nitric oxide deprivation resulted in time-dependent elevations in tail-cuff pressure (representing systolic blood pressure (SBP)) in both SHR and WKY rats. The magnitude of increase in SBP was larger in SHR (+81.0 ± 3.2 vs +25.0 ± 2.2 mmHg; P <0.01). Arteriolar hyalinosis and AIS in various segments of the CA were assessed with periodic acid-Schiff staining and inflammatory cells were immunostained with the antibody against macrophage/monocyte marker (ED1). The ED1+ cells appeared in the middle CA of L-NAME-treated SHR as early as 2 weeks after treatment. These cells were not observed in L-NAME-treated WKY rats and untreated SHR. More ED1+ cells were found in L-NAME-treated SHR than L-NAME-treated WKY rats after 4 weeks treatment. 4. The AIS and number of ED1+ cells around the perivascular area of the internal carotid artery were significantly higher in L-NAME-treated compared with untreated rats (AIS: 137 ± 28 vs 46 ± 10 for WKY rats, respectively; 169 ± 18 vs 53 ± 6 for SHR, respectively (P <0.01); ED1+ cells: 7.9 ± 0.6 vs 1.3 ± 0.9 for WKY rats, respectively; 13.6 ± 2.7 vs 2.1 ± 0.9 for SHR, respectively (P <0.01)), although SBP was higher in untreated SHR than in L-NAME-treated WKY rats (170 ± 4 vs 137 ± 4 mmHg, respectively; P <0.05). 5. These findings suggest that ED1+ cells appeared in the middle CA of L-NAME-SHR as early as 2 weeks after treatment. Chronic inhibition of NO accelerates hypertension and induces perivascular inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Arteriolar injury score
  • Cerebral arteries
  • ED1-positive cells
  • Hypertension
  • Nitric oxide deprivation
  • Perivascular inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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