Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Hypercapnic cerebral vasodilation appears to be endothelium-dependent, as it involves nitric oxide and prostaglandins. Since chronic hypertension has been associated with impaired endothelial function, we designed a study to find out whether hypercapnic cerebral blood flow and its nitric oxide- and prostaglandin-sensitive component is reduced in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) compared with normotensive controls. METHODS: Cerebral blood flow was measured in enflurane-anesthetized SHR (n=53), Wistar-Kyoto (WKY, n=20) and Sprague-Dawley (n=50) rats using the hydrogen clearance method. Cerebral blood flow was measured during eucapnia and hypercapnia; it was also assessed after administering either nonisoform-selective or isoform-selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitors and during inhibition of prostaglandin production. RESULTS: Hypercapnic cerebral blood flow did not differ among the strains. Nitric oxide synthase inhibition with intracortical N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine reduced hypercapnic cerebral blood flow in SHR by 23+/-4% and in Sprague-Dawley rats by 23+/-7% without affecting eucapnic flow. Intraperitoneal administration of the inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, 7-nitroindazole, reduced eucapnic flow by 18+/-5% in SHR and 27+/-5% in WKY rats, and hypercapnic flow by 48+/-3 and by 51+/-6%, respectively. Indomethacin produced a similar decrease in hypercapnic flow in Sprague-Dawley rats and SHR (49+/-5 and 62+/-4%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Hypercapnic cerebral blood flow was not impaired in SHR. The contribution of nitric oxide- and prostaglandin-dependent vasodilation appeared to be intact Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that neuronal rather than endothelial production of nitric oxide may be responsible for maintaining hypercapnic cerebral vasodilation in SHR.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hypertens

Publication Date





1491 - 1498


Animals, Blood Flow Velocity, Cerebral Cortex, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Enzyme Inhibitors, Hypercapnia, Hypertension, Indazoles, Indomethacin, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Oxygen, Rats, Rats, Inbred SHR, Rats, Inbred WKY, Vasodilation, omega-N-Methylarginine