Reactive oxygen species are necessary for high flow (shear Stress)-induced diameter enlargement of rat resistance arteries

Eric Belin De Chanteméle, Emilie Vessiéres, Odile Dumont, Anne Laure Guihot, Bertrand Toutain, Laurent Loufrani, Daniel Henrion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objectives: Chronic increases in blood flow induce remodeling associated with increases in diameter and endothelium-mediated dilation. Remodeling requires cell growth and migration, which may involve reactive oxygen species (ROS). Nevertheless, the role of ROS in flow-mediated remodeling in resistance arteries is not known. Materials and Methods: Rat mesenteric resistance arteries (MRAs) were exposed to high flow (HF) by sequentially ligating second-order MRAs in vivo. After three weeks, arteries were collected for structural, pharmacological, and biochemical analysis. Results: In HF arteries, luminal diameter (431 ± 12 to 553 ± 14 μm; n=10), endothelium (acetylcholine)-mediated vasodilatation (61 ± 6 to 77 ± 6% relaxation) and NAD(P)H subunit (gp91phox and p67phox) expression levels, and ROS (dihydroethydine microphotography) and peroxynitrite (3-nitro-tyrosine) production were higher than in normal flow arteries. Acute ROS scavenging with tempol improved acetylcholine-dependent relaxation (92 ± 4% relaxation), confirming that ROS are produced in HF arteries. Chronic treatment with tempol prevented the increase in diameter, reduced ROS and peroxynitrite production, and improved endothelium-mediated relaxation in HF arteries. Thus, ROS and NO were involved in HF-induced diameter enlargement, possibly through the formation of peroxynitrite, while ROS reduced the increase in endothelium-dependent relaxation. Conclusions: ROS production is necessary for flow-mediated diameter enlargement of resistance arteries. However, ROS counteract, in part, the associated improvement in endothelium-mediated relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Endothelium
  • NO
  • Oxidative stress
  • Remodeling
  • Resistance arteries
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Vasorelaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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