We recently reported that administration of N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), an inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) production, activates the vascular and cardiac renin-angiotensin systems and causes vascular thickening and myocardial hypertrophy in rats with perivascular and myocardial fibrosis. It has been reported that aldosterone may contribute to the development of cardiac fibrosis, but it is not known whether inhibition of NO synthesis affects angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor gene expression and aldosterone secretion. The aim of this study Was to investigate the effect of NO inhibition on the expression of Ang II receptors in the adrenal gland and on aldosterone secretion in rats. Wistar King A rats received normal water, L-NAME alone (1 mg/mL in the drinking water), or L-NAME and the α1- adrenergic receptor blocker bunazosin (0.1 mg/mL in the drinking water) for 1 week. After 1 week of treatment with L-NAME, systolic blood pressure, plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC), and mRNA level and number of Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1-R) were increased. Plasma renin activity, serum angiotensin- converting enzyme activity, and the number of AT2-R were unchanged. Although addition of bunazosin to L-NAME restored systolic blood pressure to the control level, PAC and AT1-R numbers remained significantly higher than those of control level. These results suggest that the increased AT1-R number and PAC induced by the inhibition of NO synthesis were independent of blood pressure and systemic renin-angiotensin system. Therefore, hypertension and myocardial fibrosis induced by NO blockade may be due in part to an elevation of PAC caused by increased AT1-R in the adrenal gland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine