Nitric oxide regulates endothelium-dependent vasodilator responses in rabbit hindquarters vascular bed in vivo

Gordon A. Cohen, Adrian J. Hobbs, Richard M. Fitch, Michael J. Zinner, Gautam Chaudhuri, Louis J. Ignarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to determine whether nitric oxide (NO) could function as a negative feedback modulator of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in vivo. To this end, the influence of exogenous NO on vasodilator responses in the rabbit hindquarters vascular bed was determined. Previous in vitro studies have demonstrated that NO inhibits both neuronal NO synthase from rat cerebellum as well as NO synthase derived from bovine aortic endothelial cells. The present study was conducted in the rabbit hindquarters vascular bed under conditions of constant blood flow so that changes in pressure directly reflected changes in vascular resistance. Under these in vivo conditions, the NO donor agent S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) reversibly attenuated responses to the endothelium-dependent vasodilators, acetylcholine and bradykinin. In contrast, SNAP did not influence the endothelium-independent vasodilator response to SNAP itself or to 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate. These observations indicate clearly that NO interferes with endothelium-dependent vasodilator action and support the view that endogenous NO may actually play a physiological role in regulating vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 40-1
StatePublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • endothelium-dependent responses
  • feedback inhibition
  • hindquarters circulation in vivo
  • nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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