Plasma nitrite response and arterial reactivity differentiate vascular health and performance

Jason D. Allen, Elizabeth M. Miller, Earl Schwark, Jennifer L. Robbins, Brian D. Duscha, Brian H. Annex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


NO is crucial for endothelial function and vascular health. Plasma nitrite (NO2-) is the main oxidation product of NO and has been shown to reflect changes in eNOS activity. We hypothesized that plasma NO2- response to physical exercise stress along with physiological endothelial function would be reduced with increasing severity of vascular disease. Subject groups were: (a) risk factors but no vascular disease (RF); (b) Type 2 diabetes with no vascular disease (DM); (c) diagnosed peripheral arterial disease (PAD); and (d) DM + PAD. Venous blood was drawn at rest and 10 min following maximal exercise. Plasma samples were analyzed by reductive chemiluminescence. Brachial diameters were imaged prior to, during and following 5 min of forearm occlusion (BAFMD). There were no differences in resting plasma NO2- or BA diameters between groups. The PAD groups had lower age adjusted BAFMD responses (p ≤ 0.05). Within group analysis revealed an increase in NO2- in the RF group (+39.3%), no change in the DM (-15.51%), and a decrease in the PAD (-44.20%) and PAD + DM (-39.95%). This was maintained after adjusting for age and VO2peak (p ≤ 0.05). ΔNO2- and BAFMD were the strongest independent predictors of VO2peak in multivariate linear regression. These findings suggest ΔNO2- discriminates severity of cardiovascular disease risk, is related to endothelial function and predicts exercise capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelium
  • Exercise
  • Nitric oxide
  • Plasma nitrite
  • VO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research


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