Interaction of nitric oxide, 20-HETE, and EETs during functional hyperemia in whisker barrel cortex

Xiaoguang Liu, Chunyuan Li, John R. Falck, Richard J. Roman, David R. Harder, Raymond C. Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) modulates vasodilation in cerebral cortex during sensory activation. NO is known to inhibit the synthesis of 20-HETE, which has been implicated in arteriolar constriction during astrocyte activation in brain slices. We tested the hypothesis that the attenuated cerebral blood flow (CBF) response to whisker stimulation seen after NO synthase (NOS) inhibition requires 20-HETE synthesis and that the ability of an epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) antagonist to reduce the CBF response is blunted after NOS inhibition but restored with simultaneous blockade of 20-HETE synthesis. In anesthetized rats, the increase in CBF during whisker stimulation was attenuated after the blockade of neuronal NOS with 7-nitroindazole. Subsequent administration of the 20-HETE synthesis inhibitor N-hydroxy-N′-(4-n-butyl-2-methylphenyl) formamidine (HET0016) restored the CBF response to control levels. After the administration of 7-nitroindazole, the inhibitory effect of an EETs antagonist 14,15-epoxyeicosa-5(Z)-enoic acid (14,15-EEZE) on the CBF response was lost, whereas the simultaneous administration of 7-nitroindazole and HET0016 restored the inhibitory effect of 14,15-EEZE. The administration of HET0016 alone had only a small effect on the evoked CBF response in rats. Furthermore, in neuronal NOS+/+ and NOS-/- mice, HET0016 administration did not increase the CBF response to whisker stimulation. In neuronal NOS+/+ mice, HET0016 also blocked the reduction in the response seen with acute NOS inhibition. These results indicate that 20-HETE synthesis normally does not substantially restrict functional hyperemia. Increased NO production during functional activation may act dynamically to suppress 20-HETE synthesis or downstream signaling and permit EETs-dependent vasodilation. With the chronic loss of neuronal NOS in mice, other mechanisms apparently suppress 20-HETE synthesis or signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H619-H631
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid
  • Eicosanoids
  • Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid
  • Functional activation
  • Mouse
  • Rat
  • Vibrissae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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