Author(s): Ono Y, Ono H, Matsuoka H, Fujimori T, Frohlich ED
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Abstract This study was designed to investigate the relationship between apoptosis (programmed cell death) and coronary arterial remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) following prolonged nitric oxide synthesis inhibition. In addition, we evaluated whether the development of coronary arterial smooth muscular cell apoptosis was related to hemodynamics or to vascular hypertrophy. Three groups of 20-week-old male SHR were investigated: controls, and two groups that received two doses of N(G)-nitro-L arginine (L-NAME, 50 mg/L and 80 mg/L) each for 3 weeks. Mean arterial pressure and total peripheral resistance index increased whereas cardiac index diminished with L-NAME. Pathohistological study demonstrated increased pericardiac fibrosis and coronary arterial injury score in the L-NAME group in a dose-dependent manner. The high dose of L-NAME (Group 3) produced myocardial infarction in 78\% of the rats. The wall:lumen ratio of epicardial coronary arteries was greater in L-NAME treated SHR (0.23+/-0.02 versus 0.16+/-0.02; P<0.05) and was associated with markedly increased apoptosis (15.3+/-6 versus 1. 9+/-1; P<0.05) without smooth muscle cell proliferation (PCNA positive cells). Apoptosis occurred predominantly in hypertrophic coronary arterial smooth muscular cells; myocardial infarction and ventricular fibrosis were exacerbated by impaired hemodynamics induced by L-NAME. These data suggest that coronary endothelial dysfunction and myocardial ischemic disease induced by L-NAME were responsible for apoptosis of coronary arterial smooth muscle cells, myocardial fibrosis, and infarction, all pathological findings that are consistent with what may be found in clinical hypertensive heart disease.
This article was published in Hypertension
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability