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J Hypertens. 2001 Mar;19(3):421-9.

L-Arginine improves endothelial function in renal artery of hypertensive Dahl rats.

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The Second Department of Physiology, Kagawa Medical University, Japan.



To clarify whether endothelium-derived contracting factor (EDCF) is developed in renal artery of hypertensive Dahl rats and whether prolonged oral L-arginine treatments prevent development of EDCF and hypertension.


The effect of prolonged salt treatment with or without L-arginine on the renal artery was examined.


Dahl salt-sensitive and -resistant rats were fed a 0.4 or an 8% NaCl diet for 4 weeks. High sodium intake increased arterial pressure in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. The rings of renal arteries were suspended for isometric tension recording. Only in the hypertensive rats, more than 1 micromol/l acetylcholine induced an endothelium-dependent contraction response. The contraction was completely inhibited by indomethacin or ONO-3708 [prostaglandin H2 (PGH2)/thromboxane A2 (TXA2) receptor antagonist], and partially inhibited by OKY-046 (TXA2 synthetase inhibitor). Acetylcholine-induced relaxation was significantly depressed in hypertensive rats, which was partially improved by SQ29548 (PGH2/TXA2 receptor antagonist). Oral L-arginine, but not ONO-8809 (orally active PGH2/TXA2 receptor antagonist) treatment, inhibited the contraction and amended the relaxation. The endothelium-independent contraction to TXA2 receptor agonist U46619 and relaxation to nitroprusside were not altered by L-arginine treatment The L-Arginine treatment reduced blood pressure and sodium retention with increases in urinary NO2-/NO3- and cGMP excretion. Hydralazine treatment also inhibited development of EDCF.


The present results suggest that impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine is caused in part by induction of EDCF synthesis/release in renal arteries of hypertensive Dahl rats. L-arginine can attenuate sodium retention and development of hypertension, which lead to a decrease in EDCF synthesis in renal arteries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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