Increased vasoconstriction is characteristic of hypertension. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that changes in vascular responses during mineralocorticoid hypertension may be due to increased activation of the Rho/Rho-kinase pathway. To test this, relaxation responses to the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 were determined by measuring isometric force in deendothelialized mesenteric arteries from mineralocorticoid-hypertensive rats and sham-operated controls. Following agonist-induced contraction by serotonin (5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine), arteries from hypertensive rats demonstrated a greater relaxation to the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (65 ± 5% vs.28 ± 10%). Treatment with an EC50 concentration of Y-27632 following a KCl-induced contraction caused minimal relaxation of arteries in both groups of animals. These findings suggest that augmented Rho-kinase activity in the vasculature of mineralocorticoid hypertensive rats may contribute to the enhanced vascular reactivity of agonist-mediated stimuli characteristic of this model of hypertension.
- DOCA-salt hypertension
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