Putative mechanisms of the impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxation of the aorta with atheromatous plaque in heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits.
Attenuation of acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation of thoracic aortas excised from Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits linearly correlated with the percent area coated with atheromatous plaque. To elucidate mechanisms related to this reduced endothelium-dependent relaxation in the presence of atherosclerosis, the acetylcholine-induced release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) was assessed functionally as a percent relaxation of the precontracted detector strips obtained from the tunica media beneath the intact intima or the atheromatous plaque in the same aortic ring preparation. Relaxations of the normal detectors to effluents containing EDRF of thoracic aortas during stimulation by acetylcholine (3 x 10(-6) M) in heterozygous and homozygous WHHL rabbits were 73 +/- 5% and 59 +/- 9% (p less than 0.01) of the phenylephrine-induced precontraction, respectively. Relaxations of the atherosclerotic detectors to effluents (EDRF) through the aortas during stimulation by acetylcholine (3 x 10(-6) M) in heterozygous and homozygous WHHL rabbits were 16 +/- 4% and 14 +/- 5%, respectively--values significantly smaller than those seen in the normal detectors. When superoxide dismutase was added to the perfusate of the donors from homozygous and heterozygous WHHL rabbits, atherosclerotic detectors relaxed by effluents stimulated by acetylcholine to 73% and 65% (p less than 0.01 versus before the addition of superoxide dismutase) of the normal detector, respectively. Relaxations induced by sodium nitroprusside as well as the contractions by acetylcholine, phenylephrine, and KCl (118 mM) were comparable in detector strips from the normal and atherosclerotic portions. Thus, not only is the amount of EDRF released by acetylcholine reduced in the presence of atherosclerosis, the tunica media beneath the atheromatous plaque is also to some extent responsible for the superoxide-induced inactivation of EDRF.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association