Visual Abstract

Background: Oxidative stress plays an essential role in the vascular tone in hypertension; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. Aim: This study aimed to determine the antioxidant effect of tempol and vitamin C (Vit-C) on the basal tone and vascular remodeling of the aorta in nitric oxide (NO) deficiency-induced hypertensive rats. Method: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were induced to hypertension by Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Animals were randomized as follows: vehicle (Control: CR), CR-tempol, CR-Vit-C, L-NAME, L-NAME-tempol, and L-NAME-Vit-C. After 6 weeks of treatment, the basal aortic tone was evaluated by sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and calcium-free medium. Endothelial function, NO, reduced-to-oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio, resting membrane potential (mP), and vascular remodeling were also measured. Results: L-NAME rats showed an increased basal tone that was blunted by both SNP (−547 ± 69; n = 7 vs. CR: −7.5 ± 6.7 mg; n = 7; p < 0.001) and calcium-free medium. Tempol or Vit-C did not reverse hypertension, and the high basal tone was decreased only with tempol. In L-NAME rats, only tempol partially improved endothelial function, GSH-to-GSSG ratio, mP values, and vascular remodeling. Conclusions: Tempol decreased calcium-dependent basal aortic tone and improved vascular homeostasis in L-NAME rats. Vit-C did not lead to a similar effect, suggesting that alterations in the superoxide dismutase pathway may play a role in the basal aortic tone.

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