Characterization of pressure-mediated vascular tone in resistance arteries from bile duct-ligated rats

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6 Scopus citations


In cirrhosis, changes in pressure-mediated vascular tone, a key determinant of systemic vascular resistance (SVR), are unknown. To address this gap in knowledge, we assessed ex vivo dynamics of pressurized mesenteric resistance arteries (diameter ~ 260 μm) from bile duct-ligated (BDL) and sham-operated (SHAM) rats and determined the underlying mechanisms. At isobaric intraluminal pressure (70 mmHg) as well as with step-wise increase in pressure (10-110 mmHg), arteries from SHAM-rats constricted more than BDL-rats, and had reduced luminal area. In both groups, incubation with LNAME (a NOS inhibitor) had no effect on pressure-mediated tone, and expression of NOS isoforms were similar. TEA, which enhances Ca2+ influx, augmented arterial tone only in SHAM-rats, with minimal effect in those from BDL-rats that was associated with reduced expression of Ca2+ channel TRPC6. In permeabilized arteries, high-dose Ca2+ and γGTP enhanced the vascular tone, which remained lower in BDL-rats that was associated with reduced ROCK2 and pMLC expression. Further, compared to SHAM-rats, in BDL-rats, arteries had reduced collagen expression which was associated with increased expression and activity of MMP-9. BDL-rats also had increased plasma reactive oxygen species (ROS). In vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro, peroxynitrite enhanced MMP-9 activity and reduced ROCK2 expression. These data provide evidence that in cirrhosis, pressure-mediated tone is reduced in resistance arteries, and suggest that circulating ROS play a role in reducing Ca2+ sensitivity and enhancing elasticity to induce arterial adaptations. These findings provide insights into mechanisms underlying attenuated SVR in cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30706-30722
Number of pages17
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cirrhosis
  • Mesenteric arteries
  • Myogenic tone
  • Pathology Section
  • Portal hypertension
  • Vascular dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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