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J Hypertens. 2013 May;31(5):916-26. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32835f749c.

Aerobic exercise training increases neuronal nitric oxide release and bioavailability and decreases noradrenaline release in mesenteric artery from spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.



To study the effect of aerobic exercise training on sympathetic, nitrergic and sensory innervation function in superior mesenteric artery from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).


De-endothelized vascular rings from sedentary and trained SHRs (treadmill 12 weeks) were used. Vasomotor responses to electrical field stimulation (EFS), noradrenaline, nitric oxide donor DEA-NO and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were studied. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression and nitric oxide, superoxide anions (O(2.-)), noradrenaline and CGRP levels were also determined.


Aerobic exercise training decreased vasoconstrictor response to EFS but increased noradrenaline response. Phentolamine decreased while N(ω)-nitro-(L)-arginine methyl ester ((L)-NAME) increased the response to EFS; the effect of both drugs was greater in trained animals. Training also decreased noradrenaline release and O(2.-) production and increased nNOS expression, nitric oxide release and the vasodilator response to DEA-NO. The O(2.-) scavenger tempol increased DEA-NO-induced vasodilation only in sedentary rats. The EFS-induced contraction was increased to a similar extent in both experimental groups by preincubation with CGRP (8-37). CGRP release and vasodilator response were not modified by training.


Aerobic exercise training decreases contractile response to EFS in mesenteric artery from SHRs. This effect is the net result of decreased noradrenaline release, increased sensitivity to the vasoconstrictive effects of noradrenaline and increased neuronal nitric oxide release and bioavailability. These modifications might contribute to the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise training on blood pressure.

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