Vascular nitric oxide and superoxide anion contribute to sex-specific programmed cardiovascular physiology in mice.

Roghair RD, Segar JL, Volk KA, Chapleau MW, Dallas LM, Sorenson AR, Scholz TD, Lamb FS
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 296 (3): R651-62

PMID: 19144750 · PMCID: PMC2665850 · DOI:10.1152/ajpregu.90756.2008

Intrauterine environmental pertubations have been linked to the development of adult hypertension. We sought to evaluate the interrelated roles of sex, nitric oxide, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in programmed cardiovascular disease. Programming was induced in mice by maternal dietary intervention (DI; partial substitution of protein with carbohydrates and fat) or carbenoxolone administration (CX, to increase fetal glucocorticoid exposure). Adult blood pressure and locomotor activity were recorded by radiotelemetry at baseline, after a week of high salt, and after a week of high salt plus nitric oxide synthase inhibition (by l-NAME). In male offspring, DI or CX programmed an elevation in blood pressure that was exacerbated by N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester administration, but not high salt alone. Mesenteric resistance vessels from DI male offspring displayed impaired vasorelaxation to ACh and nitroprusside, which was blocked by catalase and superoxide dismutase. CX-exposed females were normotensive, while DI females had nitric oxide synthase-dependent hypotension and enhanced mesenteric dilation. Despite the disparate cardiovascular phenotypes, both male and female DI offspring displayed increases in locomotor activity and aortic superoxide production. Despite dissimilar blood pressures, DI and CX-exposed females had reductions in cardiac baroreflex sensitivity. In conclusion, both maternal malnutrition and fetal glucocorticoid exposure program increases in arterial pressure in male but not female offspring. While maternal DI increased both superoxide-mediated vasoconstriction and nitric oxide mediated vasodilation, the balance of these factors favored the development of hypertension in males and hypotension in females.

MeSH Terms (23)

11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases Animals Blood Pressure Blood Vessels Carbenoxolone Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena Diet, Protein-Restricted Dietary Carbohydrates Female Fetal Nutrition Disorders Glucocorticoids Male Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Motor Activity Nitric Oxide Nitric Oxide Synthase Pregnancy Reactive Oxygen Species Sex Characteristics Splanchnic Circulation Superoxides Telemetry

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