Effects of simulated microgravity on arterial nitric oxide synthase and nitrate and nitrite content

Journal of Applied Physiology
Jin MaRalph E Purdy


The aim of the present work was to investigate the alterations in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression and nitrate and nitrite (NOx) content of different arteries from simulated microgravity rats. Male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to either a control group or simulated microgravity group. For simulating microgravity, animals were subjected to hindlimb unweighting (HU) for 20 days. Different arterial tissues were removed for determination of NOS expression and NOx. Western blotting was used to measure endothelial NOS (eNOS) and inducible NOS (iNOS) protein content. Total concentrations of NOx, stable metabolites of nitric oxide, were determined by the chemiluminescence method. Compared with controls, isolated vessels from simulated microgravity rats showed a significant increase in both eNOS and iNOS expression in carotid arteries and thoracic aorta and a significant decrease in eNOS and iNOS expression of mesenteric arteries. The eNOS and iNOS content of cerebral arteries, as well as that of femoral arteries, showed no differences between the two groups. Concerning NOx, vessels from HU rats showed an increase in cerebral arteries, a decrease in mesenteric arteries, and no change in carotid artery, femoral artery and tho...Continue Reading


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