Tonic basal release of nitric oxide (NO) by vascular endothelial cells controls blood pressure (BP) in the basal state. In these studies we investigated the effects of chronic inhibition of basal NO synthesis in the rat for a 2-mo period. Significant systemic hypertension developed in chronically NO-blocked rats compared to controls. Marked renal vasoconstriction was also observed with elevations in glomerular blood pressure (PGC) and reductions in the glomerular capillary ultrafiltration coefficient (Kf). Chronically NO-blocked rats also develop proteinuria and glomerular sclerotic injury compared to controls. These studies therefore describe a new model of systemic hypertension with glomerular capillary hypertension and renal disease due to chronic blockade of endogenous NO synthesis. These observations highlight the importance of the endogenous NO system in control of normal vascular tone and suggest that hypertensive states may result from relative NO deficiency.
C Baylis, B Mitruka, A Deng