Roles of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in cutaneous vasodilation induced by local warming of the skin and whole body heat stress in humans

Dean L. Kellogg, Joan L. Zhao, Yubo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) participates in the cutaneous vasodilation caused by increased local skin temperature (Tloc) and whole body heat stress in humans. In forearm skin, endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) participates in vasodilation due to elevated Tloc and neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) participates in vasodilation due to heat stress. To explore the relative roles and interactions of these isoforms, we examined the effects of a relatively specific eNOS inhibitor, Nω-amino-L-arginine (LNAA), and a specific nNOS inhibitor, Nω-propyl-L-arginine (NPLA), both separately and in combination, on skin blood flow (SkBF) responses to increased Tloc and heat stress in two protocols. In each protocol, SkBF was monitored by laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) by Finapres. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated (CVC = LDF/MAP). Intradermal microdialysis was used to treat one site with 5 mM LNAA, another with 5 mM NPLA, a third with combined 5 mM LNAA and 5 mM NPLA (Mix), and a fourth site with Ringer only. In protocol 1, Tloc was controlled with combined LDF/local heating units. Tloc was increased from 34°C to 41.5°C to cause local vasodilation. In protocol 2, after a period of normothermia, whole body heat stress was induced (water-perfused suits). At the end of each protocol, all sites were perfused with 58 mM nitroprusside to effect maximal vasodilation for data normalization. In protocol 1, at Tloc = 34°C, CVC did not differ between sites (P > 0.05). LNAA and Mix attenuated CVC increases at Tloc = 41.5°C to similar extents (P < 0.05, LNAA or Mix vs. untreated or NPLA). In protocol 2, in normothermia, CVC did not differ between sites (P > 0.05). During heat stress, NPLA and Mix attenuated CVC increases to similar extents, but no significant attenuation occurred with LNAA (P < 0.05, NPLA or Mix vs. untreated or LNAA). In forearm skin, eNOS mediates the vasodilator response to increased Tloc and nNOS mediates the vasodilator response to heat stress. The two isoforms do not appear to interact during either response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1444
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Microdialysis
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase 1
  • Nitric oxide synthase 3
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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