Sex differences in mesenteric endothelial function of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: A shift in the relative importance of EDRFs

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American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology









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Several studies suggest that diabetes affects male and female vascular beds differently. However, the mechanisms underlying the interaction of sex and diabetes remain to be investigated. This study investigates whether there are 1) sex differences in the development of abnormal vascular responses and 2) changes in the relative contributions of endothelium-derived relaxing factors in modulating vascular reactivity of mesenteric arteries taken from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats at early and intermediate stages of the disease (1 and 8 wk, respectively). We also investigated the mesenteric expression of the mRNAs for endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) and NADPH oxidase (Nox) in STZ-induced diabetes in both sexes. Vascular responses to acetylcholine (ACh) in mesenteric arterial rings precontracted with phenylephrine were measured before and after pretreatment with indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor), N -nitro- L-arginine methyl ester (NOS inhibitor), or barium chloride (K r blocker) plus ouabain (Na -K -ATPase inhibitor). We demonstrated that ACh-induced relaxations were significantly impaired in mesenteric arteries from both male and female diabetic rats at 1 and 8 wk. However, at 8 wk the extent of impairment was significantly greater in diabetic females than diabetic males. Our data also showed that in females, the levels of eNOS, Nox2, and Nox4 mRNA expression and the relative importance of NO to the regulation of vascular reactivity were substantially enhanced, whereas the importance of endotheliumderived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) was significantly reduced at both 1 and 8 wk after the induction of diabetes. This study reveals the predisposition of female rat mesenteric arteries to vascular injury after the induction of diabetes may be due to a shift away from a putative EDHF, initially the major vasodilatory factor, toward a greater reliance on NO. © 2012 the American Physiological Society. ω + + i