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Circulation Journal
Vol. 66 (2002) No. 9 p. 851-856



Experimental Investigation

Endogenous nitric oxide (NO) inhibits the contractile response to β-adrenergic stimulation, but its effect on cardiac hypertrophy mediated by β-adrenoceptors remains unclear. The present study was designed to determine whether overproduction of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) could inhibit cardiac hypertrophy induced by chronic isoproterenol (ISO) infusion (30 mg/kg per day) using eNOS overexpressing (eNOS-Tg) mice and wild-type (WT) mice. In a separate group, WT mice were treated with ISO and hydralazine to decrease blood pressure to the same levels in eNOS-Tg mice. The eNOS expression, NOS activity, and cGMP levels in the heart were remarkably higher in eNOS-Tg mice than in WT mice. ISO increased both heart weight and the heart/body weight ratio, which were significantly attenuated in eNOS-Tg mice compared with WT or hydralazine-treated WT mice. Histological examination revealed that the extent of fibrosis was not significantly different among the 3 groups, and that the increase in myocyte size was more than 10% lower in eNOS-Tg than in the other groups. In addition, up-regulated expression of atrial natriuretic peptide mRNA associated with cardiac hypertrophy was significantly inhibited in eNOS-Tg mice during ISO infusion. These results indicate that endogenous NO might act as a negative modulator for the hypertrophic response to β-adrenergic stimulation. (Circ J 2002; 66: 851 - 856)


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