Reactivity of the mesenteric bed arteries of normotensive rats exposed to chronic social stress
General Physiology and Biophysics
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic social stress on endotheliumdependent relaxation in the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and its first branches (1MA) as well as on neurogenic contractions of SMA in adult, male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Mesenteric arteries were isolated from control (living space: 480 cm 2 /rat) or stressed rats exposed to 8-week-lasting crowding stress (living space: 200 cm 2 /rat). Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate, determined by tail-cuff
... by tail-cuff plethysmography, were not affected by crowding. Stress increased neurogenic contractions of SMA elicited by electrical stimulation of perivascular nerves and significantly elevated vasoconstriction induced by exogenous noradrenaline in SMA, without modulation of its endothelial function. In 1MA, nitric oxide (NO)-dependent component of endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was investigated. In 1MA, stress failed to affect noradrenaline-and phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction, total acetylcholine-induced relaxation as well as its NO-dependent and NO-independent components. Moreover, endothelium-independent sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxations of 1MA from the stressed rats did not differ from those of controls. In conclusion, chronic stress produced by crowding failed to induce an increase of BP, presumably because endothelial function of SMA and vascular function of small mesenteric arteries, which are rather important in BP regulation, remained preserved.