Oxidant stress-induced increase in myogenic activation of skeletal muscle resistance arteries in obese Zucker rats

Jefferson C. Frisbee, Kristopher G. Maier, David W. Stepp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


This study characterized myogenic activation of skeletal muscle (gracilis) resistance arteries from lean (LZR) and obese Zucker rats (OZR). Arteries from OZR exhibited increased myogenic activation versus LZR; this increase was impaired by endothelium denudation or nitric oxide synthase inhibition. Treatment of vessels with 17-octadecynoic acid impaired responses in both strains by comparable amounts. Dihydroethidine microfluorography indicated elevated vascular superoxide levels in OZR versus LZR; immunohistochemistry demonstrated elevated vascular nitrotyrosine levels in OZR, indicating increased peroxynitrite presence. Vessel treatment with oxidative radical scavengers (polythylene glycol-superoxide dismutase/catalase) or inhibition of Ca2+-activated K+ (KCa) channels (iberiotoxin) did not alter myogenic activation in LZR but normalized activation in OZR. Application of peroxynitrite to vessels of OZR caused a greater vasoconstriction versus LZR; the response was impaired in OZR by elevated intraluminal pressure and was abolished in both strains by iberiotoxin. These results suggest that enhanced myogenic activation of gracilis arteries of OZR versus LZR 1) is not due to alterations in cytochrome P-450 contribution, and 2) may be due to elevated peroxynitrite levels inhibiting KCa channels following increased intraluminal pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2160-H2168
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 52-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Regulation of vascular tone
  • Skeletal muscle microcirculation
  • Type II diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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