Altered mechanisms of endothelium-dependent dilation in skeletal muscle arterioles with genetic hypercholesterolemia

Phoebe A. Stapleton, Adam G. Goodwill, Milinda E. James, Jefferson C. Frisbee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


With most cardiovascular disease risk factors, endothelium-dependent dilation of skeletal muscle resistance arterioles is compromised, although with hypercholesterolemia, impairments to reactivity are not consistently observed. Using apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene deletion male mouse models of hypercholesterolemia at 20 wk of age, we tested the hypothesis that arteriolar dilation would be maintained due to an increased stimulus-induced production of dilator metabolites via cyclooxygenase and cytochrome P-450 epoxygenase pathways. Arterioles from both strains demonstrated mild reductions in dilation to hypoxia and acetylcholine versus responses in C57/Bl/6J (C57) controls. However, although inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) attenuated dilation in arterioles from C57 controls, this effect was absent in ApoE or LDLR strains. In contrast, cyclooxygenase-dependent portions of dilator reactivity were maintained across the three strains. Notably, although combined NOS and cyclooxygenase inhibition abolished arteriolar responses to hypoxia and acetylcholine in C57 controls, significant reactivity remained in ApoE and LDLR strains. Whereas inhibition of cytochrome P-450 ω-hydroxylase and epoxygenases had no effect on this residual reactivity in ApoE and LDLR strains, inhibition of 12/15-lipoxygenase with nordihydroguaiaretic acid abolished the residual reactivity. With both hypoxic and methacholine challenges, arteries from ApoE and LDLR strains demonstrated an increased production of both 12(S)- and 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, end products of arachidonic acid metabolism via 12/15-lipoxygenase, a response that was not present in C57 controls. These results suggest that with development of hypercholesterolemia, mechanisms contributing to dilator reactivity in skeletal muscle arterioles are modified such that net reactivity to endothelium- dependent stimuli is largely intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1110-R1119
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Mouse models of cardiovascular disease
  • Skeletal muscle microcirculation


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered mechanisms of endothelium-dependent dilation in skeletal muscle arterioles with genetic hypercholesterolemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this