Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 has been reported to play a role in vascular dysfunction associated with mineralocorticoid hypertension. We hypothesized that, compared with female rats, an upregulation of ERK1/2 signaling in the vasculature of male rats contributes to augmented contractile responses in mineralocorticoid hypertension. Uninephrectomized male and female Sprague-Dawley rats received desoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) pellets (200 mg per animal) and saline to drink for 3 weeks. Control uninephrectomized rats received tap water to drink. Blood pressure, measured by telemetry, was significantly higher in male DOCA rats (191±3 mm Hg) compared with female DOCA rats (172±7 mm Hg; n=5). DOCA treatment resulted in augmented contractile responses to phenylephrine in aorta (22±3 mN; n=6) and small mesenteric arteries (13±2 mN; n=6) from male DOCA rats versus uninephrectomized male rats (16±3 and 10±2 mN, respectively; P<0.05) and female DOCA rats (15±1 and 11±1 mN, respectively). ERK1/2 inhibition with PD-98059 (10 μmol/L) abrogated increased contraction to phenylephrine in aorta (14±2 mN) and small mesenteric arteries (10±2 mN) from male DOCA rats, without any effects in arteries from male uninephrectomized or female animals. Compared with the other groups, phosphorylated ERK1/2 levels were increased in the aorta from male DOCA rats, whereas mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 expression was decreased. Interleukin-10 plasma levels, which positively regulate mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 activity, were reduced in male DOCA-salt rats. We speculate that augmented vascular reactivity in male hypertensive rats is mediated via activation of the ERK1/2 pathway. In addition, mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 and interleukin 10 play regulatory roles in this process.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
- Sex differences
- Vascular reactivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine