Acute and chronic NOS inhibition enhances alpha(2)- adrenoreceptor-stimulated RhoA and Rho kinase in rat aorta. Academic Article uri icon


  • We demonstrated that arteries from rats made hypertensive with chronic nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) inhibition (N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine in drinking water, LHR) have enhanced contractile sensitivity to alpha(2)-adrenergic receptors (alpha(2)-AR) agonist UK-14304 compared with arteries from normotensive rats (NR). NO may regulate vascular tone in part through suppression of RhoA and Rho kinase (ROK). We hypothesized that enhanced RhoA and ROK activity augments alpha(2)-AR contraction in LHR aortic rings. Y-27632 eliminated UK-14304 contraction in LHR and NR aortic rings. The order of increasing sensitivity to Y-27632 was the following: endothelium-intact NR, LHR, and endothelium-denuded NR. UK-14304 stimulated RhoA translocation to the membrane fraction in LHR and denuded NR but not in intact NR aorta. Basally, more RhoA was present in the membrane fraction in denuded NR than in intact NR or LHR aorta. Relaxation to S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine and Y-27632 in denuded ionomycin-permeabilized rings was greater in NR than in LHR. Together these studies indicate alpha(2)-AR contraction depends on ROK activity more in NR than LHR aorta. Additionally, endogenous NO may regulate RhoA activation, whereas chronic NOS inhibition appears to cause RhoA desensitization.

publication date

  • October 2002