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RhoA/Rho-kinase (RhoA/ROK) pathway promotes vasoconstriction by calcium sensitivity mechanism. LPS causes nitric oxide (NO) overproduction to induce vascular hyporeactivity. Thus, we tried to examine the role of RhoA/ROK and NO in the regulation of vascular reactivity in different time-point of endotoxaemia. Male Wistar rats were intravenously infused for 10 min with saline or E. coli endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS, 10 mg/kg) and divided to five groups (n = 8 in each group): (i) Control, sacrificed at 6 h after saline infusion; (ii) LPS1h, sacrificed at 1 h after LPS infusion; (iii) LPS2h, sacrificed at 2 h after LPS infusion; (iv) LPS4h, sacrificed at 4 h after LPS infusion; and (v) LPS6h, sacrificed at 6 h after LPS infusion. LPS1h and LPS2h were regarded as early endotoxaemia, whereas LPS4h and LPS6h were regarded as late endotoxaemia. Indeed, our results showed that LPS reproduced a biphasic hypotension and sustained vascular hyporeactivity to noradrenaline (NA) in vivo. Interestingly, this hyporeactivity did not occur in ex vivo during early endotoxaemia. This could be due to increases of aortic RhoA activity (n = 5, P<0.05) and myosin phosphatase targeting subunit 1 phosphorylation (n = 3, P<0.05). In addition, pressor response to NA and vascular reactivity in early endotoxaemia were inhibited by ROK inhibitor, Y27632. Furthermore, plasma bradykinin was increased at 10 min (24.6±13.7 ng/mL, n = 5, P<0.05) and aortic endothelial NO synthase expression was increased at 1 h (+200%. n = 3, P<0.05) after LPS. In late endotoxaemia, the vascular hyporeactivity was associated with aortic inducible NO synthase expression (n = 3, P<0.05) and an increased serum NO level (n = 8, P<0.05). Thus, an increased RhoA activity could compensate vascular hyporeactivity in early endotoxaemia, and the large NO production inhibiting RhoA activity would lead to vascular hyporeactivity eventually.


Mei-Hui Liao, Chih-Chin Shih, Cheng-Ming Tsao, Shiu-Jen Chen, Chin-Chen Wu. RhoA/Rho-kinase and nitric oxide in vascular reactivity in rats with endotoxaemia. PloS one. 2013;8(2):e56331

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PMID: 23457552

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