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AAPS PharmSci. 2002;4(2):E10.

cDNA microarray analysis of vascular gene expression after nitric oxide donor infusions in rats: implications for nitrate tolerance mechanisms.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260-1200, USA.


Vascular nitrate tolerance is often accompanied by changes in the activity and/or expression of a number of proteins. However, it is not known whether these changes are associated with the vasodilatory properties of nitrates, or with their tolerance mechanisms. We examined the hemodynamic effects and vascular gene expressions of 2 nitric oxide (NO) donors: nitroglycerin (NTG) and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). Rats received 10 microg/min NTG, SNAP, or vehicle infusion for 8 hours. Hemodynamic tolerance was monitored by the maximal mean arterial pressure (MAP) response to a 30-microg NTG or SNAP bolus challenge dose (CD) at various times during infusion. Gene expression in rat aorta after NTG or SNAP treatment was determined using cDNA microarrays, and the relative differences in expression after drug treatment were evaluated using several statistical techniques. MAP response of the NTG CD was attenuated from the first hour of NTG infusion (P <.001, analysis of variance [ANOVA]), but not after SNAP (P >.05, ANOVA) or control infusion (P >.05, ANOVA). Student t-statistics revealed that 447 rat genes in the aorta were significantly altered by NTG treatment (P <.05). An adjusted t-statistic approach using resampling techniques identified a subset of 290 genes that remained significantly different between NTG treatment vs control. In contrast, SNAP treatment resulted in the up-regulation of only 7 genes and the down-regulation of 34 genes. These results indicate that continuous NTG infusion induced widespread changes in vascular gene expression, many of which are consistent with the multifactorial and complex mechanisms reported for nitrate tolerance.

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