Nitric oxide and H2O2 contribute to reactive dilation of isolated coronary arterioles

Akos Koller, Zsolt Bagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The role of metabolic factors derived from cardiac muscle in the development of reactive hyperemia after brief occlusions of the coronary circulation seems to be well established. However, the contribution of occlusion-induced changes in hemodynamic forces to eliciting reactive hyperemia is less known. We hypothesized that in isolated coronary arterioles changes in intraluminal pressure and flow, during and after release of occlusion (O/R), themselves via activating intrinsic mechanosensitive mechanisms, elicit release of vasoactive factors resulting in reactive dilations. Thus in isolated coronary arterioles (diameter: 88 ± 8 μm) changes in diameter to changes in pressure or pressure plus flow (P+F) during and after a brief period (30, 60, and 120 s) of O/R of cannulating tube were measured by videomicroscopy. In response to both types of O/R, diameter first decreased, then, subsequently increased during occlusions. When only pressure was changed (from 80-10-80 mmHg), after release of occlusion, peak dilations increased as a function of the duration of occlusions. After flow was established (30 μl/min), O/R elicited changes in both pressure and flow (from 80-10-80 mmHg and from O to 30 μl/min). In these conditions, after the release of occlusions, not only the peak but also the duration of reactive dilation increased significantly as a function of the length of occlusions. The dilations during, and peak dilations after occlusions both in pressure and P+F protocols were significantly reduced by the inhibition of NO synthase with Nω-nitro-L-arginine- methyl-ester (L-NAME) or by endothelium removal, whereas duration of postocclusion dilations were reduced by L-NAME or by endothelium removal only in P+F protocols. Furthermore, in both protocols, catalase significantly reduced the peak but not the duration of reactive dilations. Thus, mechanosensitive mechanisms that are sensitive to deformation, pressure, stretch, and wall shear stress elicit release of NO and H2O2, resulting in reactive dilation of isolated coronary arterioles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2461-H2467
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 56-6
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Deformation
  • Endothelium
  • Flow/shear stress
  • Myogenic
  • Pressure
  • Reactive hyperemia
  • Stretch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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