Actions of l- and d-arginine and ng-monomethyl-l-arginine on the blood pressure of pithed normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats
We have examined the depressor effects of L- and D-arginine on the diastolic blood pressure of pithed normotensive Wistar (NW), Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats after the administration of a single bolus injection of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). A single bolus intravenous injection of L-NMMA, 30 mg/kg, produced an increase in both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of pithed rats. Injections of bolus doses, 1-300 mg/kg, of D-arginine did not lead to sustained reductions of the blood pressure in pithed NW rats although slight decreases in the blood pressure of WKY and SH rats were observed, and these transient effects of D-arginine appeared to be more pronounced in the WKY strain. Immediately following the bolus injections of the higher doses of D-arginine a transient decrease in both the systolic and diastolic pressure occurred. In contrast to the actions of D-arginine single bolus injections of L-arginine, 1-300 mg/kg, produced a dose-dependent sustained reduction in both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures of all rats. The threshold for the depressor actions of L-arginine was the same for NW, WKY and SH rats. The final dose of L-arginine (300 mg/kg), produced a significantly greater depressor effect in WKY and SH rats as compared to NW rats. The blood pressure remained elevated after the dose-response curve to D-arginine and, in order to determine whether D-arginine-treated rats are sensitive to the effects of other vasodilators and whether differences in vasoactive actions exist for vasodilators acting other than via nitric oxide synthesis, a dose-response curve to the calcium channel antagonist verapamil was constructed. Injections of verapamil, 0.1-1000 micrograms/kg, produced a dose-dependent reduction in blood pressure with no difference in either threshold or sensitivity to the actions of verapamil among the three strains of rats. Our results suggest that strain differences exist between the depressor actions of L-arginine and that it is possible that these differences may be due to an alteration in the endogenous levels of nitric oxide synthase and/or the activity of guanylate cyclase, however, no relationship to the hypertensive state of the spontaneously hypertensive rats was apparent.