• cyclooxygenase;
  • diabetes;
  • G-proteins;
  • hypertension;
  • nitric oxide;
  • prostanoids


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References

The endothelium can evoke relaxations (dilatations) of the underlying vascular smooth muscle, by releasing vasodilator substances. The best characterized endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is nitric oxide (NO). The endothelial cells also evoke hyperpolarization of the cell membrane of vascular smooth muscle (endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizations, EDHF-mediated responses). Endothelium-dependent relaxations involve both pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi (e.g. responses to serotonin and thrombin) and pertussis toxin-insensitive Gq (e.g. adenosine diphosphate and bradykinin) coupling proteins. The release of NO by the endothelial cell can be up-regulated (e.g. by oestrogens, exercise and dietary factors) and down-regulated (e.g. oxidative stress, smoking and oxidized low-density lipoproteins). It is reduced in the course of vascular disease (e.g. diabetes and hypertension). Arteries covered with regenerated endothelium (e.g. following angioplasty) selectively loose the pertussis toxin-sensitive pathway for NO release which favours vasospasm, thrombosis, penetration of macrophages, cellular growth and the inflammatory reaction leading to atherosclerosis. In addition to the release of NO (and causing endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizations), endothelial cells also can evoke contraction (constriction) of the underlying vascular smooth muscle cells by releasing endothelium-derived contracting factor (EDCF). Most endothelium-dependent acute increases in contractile force are due to the formation of vasoconstrictor prostanoids (endoperoxides and prostacyclin) which activate TP receptors of the vascular smooth muscle cells. EDCF-mediated responses are exacerbated when the production of NO is impaired (e.g. by oxidative stress, ageing, spontaneous hypertension and diabetes). They contribute to the blunting of endothelium-dependent vasodilatations in aged subjects and essential hypertensive patients.

The seminal observation of Robert Furchgott demonstrated that the removal of the endothelial layer from isolated arteries prevents the in vitro dilator response to acetylcholine (Furchgott & Zawadzki 1980). This simple experiment has profoundly modified our thinking about the local control of vasomotor tone. Early bioassay studies demonstrated that the endothelial cells cause arterial relaxation by releasing a powerful vasoactive substance(s) which was termed endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) (Fig. 1) (Furchgott & Zawadzki 1980, Rubanyi et al. 1985). The original EDRF (Furchgott & Zawadzki 1980) stimulates soluble guanylyl cyclase in the vascular smooth muscle cells and thus increases the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (see Ignarro et al. 1986, Furchgott & Vanhoutte 1989, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1990). It is rapidly destroyed by superoxide anions (Gryglewski et al. 1986, Rubanyi et al. 1986). These experimental facts led to the proposal (Furchgott 1988, Ignarro et al. 1988a,b) and the demonstration (Palmer et al. 1987, 1988a,b, Palmer & Moncada 1989, Moncada 1997) that EDRF is nitric oxide (NO) (Fig. 2). However, the release of NO is by no means the only way to evoke endothelium-dependent vasomotor changes. Thus, besides NO, a number of endothelium-derived factors (EDHFs) and the opening of gap junctions can cause NO-independent hyperpolarizations of the underlying vascular smooth muscle (Fig. 3) (see Busse et al. 2002, Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006a,b, 2007, Fleming & Busse 2006). In addition, endothelial cells can release vasoconstrictor prostanoids (endothelium-derived contracting factors, EDCF) (Fig. 4) (see Furchgott & Vanhoutte 1989, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1990, Vanhoutte 1993a, Vanhoutte et al. 2005). When the ability of the endothelial cells to release NO (and to cause endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizations) is reduced, and in particular if the propensity to produce EDCF is enhanced, endothelial dysfunction ensues, which appears to be the first step in the chain of events that leads to atherosclerosis and coronary disease (see Vanhoutte 1988, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, Vanhoutte & Shimokawa 1989, Shepherd & Vanhoutte 1991, Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006c). Thus, endothelial dysfunction has become a hallmark, and indeed a predictor of cardiovascular disease (e.g. Lyons 1997, Behrendt & Ganz 2002, Li et al. 2002b, Ganz & Vita 2003, Dickson & Gotlieb 2004, Förstermann & Münzel 2006, Landmesser & Drexler 2007, Rossi et al. 2008). This brief, non-exhaustive review focuses on the imbalance between opposing endothelium-derived mediators, in particular NO and EDCFs, and its role in the genesis of vascular disease.


Figure 1.  Some of the neurohumoral mediators that cause the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factors (EDRF) through activation of specific endothelial receptors (circles). A, adrenaline (epinephrine); AA, arachidonic acid; Ach, acetylcholine; ADP, adenosine diphosphate; α, alpha adrenergic receptor; AVP, arginine vasopressin; B, kinin receptor; ET, endothelin, endothelin-receptor; H, histaminergic receptor; 5-HT, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), serotoninergic receptor; M, muscarinic receptor; NA, noradrenaline; P, purinergic receptor; T, thrombin receptor; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor; VP, vasopressin receptor.

Download figure to PowerPoint


Figure 2.  Schematic of possible mechanisms by which production of nitric oxide is regulated in endothelial cells. Nitric oxide is produced through enzymatic conversion of l-arginine by nitric oxide synthase (endothelial or type III, eNOS). The transcription of this enzyme is regulated genomically by hormones and growth factors. Stability of eNOS mRNA is modulated by statins and hormones. eNOS enzyme activity requires calcium, calmodulin, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and 5,6,7,8-tetra-hydrobiopterine (BH4). Enzyme activity is regulated by complexing to these proteins in microdomains of the endothelial cell. Association with this complex of heat shock protein 90 (HSP 90) increases enzyme activity. Stimulation of specific receptors on the endothelial surface (R) complexed with guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins, which are sensitive to pertussis toxin (Gi) or insensitive to pertussis toxin (Gq), activate intracellular pathways that modulate eNOS activity post-translationally through heat shock protein 90 or AKT phosphorylation. Association of eNOS with caveolin-1 or glycosylation of the enzyme reduces activity. A metabolite of l-arginine, asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA), decreases production of the nitric oxide through competitive binding to eNOS. Thus, this endogenous amine may be a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. +, stimulation; −, inhibition; ?, pathways in which the regulation is unknown (modified from O’Rourke et al. 2006).

Download figure to PowerPoint


Figure 3.  Multiplicity of mechanisms leading to endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization. Substances such as acetylcholine (Ach), bradykinin (BK) and substance P (SP), through the activation of M3-muscarinic, B2-bradykinin and NK1-neuroknin receptor subtypes, respectively, and agents that increase intracellular calcium, such as the calcium ionophore A23187, release endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors. CaM, calmodulin; COX, cyclooxygenase; EET, epoxyeicosatrienoic acid; IP3, inositol trisphosphate; GC, guanylate cyclase; NAPE, N-acylphosphaticylethanolamine; Hyperol., hyperpolarization; NOS, NO synthase; O2, superoxide anions; PGI2, prostacyclin; P450, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase; R, receptor; X, putative EDHF synthase. SR141716 is an antagonist of the cannabinoid CB, receptor subtype (CB1). Glibenclamide (Glib) is a selective inhibitor of ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K+ATP). Tetraethylammonium (TEA) and tetrabutylammonium (TBA) are nonspecific inhibitors of potassium channels when used at high concentrations (>5 mm), while at lower concentrations (1–3 mm) these drugs are selective for calcium-activated potassium channels (K+Ca2+). Iberiotoxin (IBX) is a specific inhibitor of large conductance K+Ca2+. Charybdotoxin (CTX) is an inhibitor of large conductance K+Ca2+, intermediate conductance K+Ca2+(IK+Ca2+) and voltage-dependent potassium channels. Apamin is a specific inhibitor of small conductance K+Ca2+ (SK+Ca2+). Barium (Ba2+), in the micromolar range, is a specific inhibitor of the inward rectifier potassium channel (Kir). GAP 27 (an 11-amino acid peptide possessing conserved sequence homology to a portion of the second extracellular loop of connexin), 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid (αGA) and heptanol are gap junction uncouplers.

Download figure to PowerPoint


Figure 4.  Under certain conditions, the endothelial cells, when activated by neurohumoral mediators, subjected to sudden stretch or exposed to the Ca2+ ionophore A23187, release a vasoconstrictor substance(s), termed endothelium-derived contracting factor (EDCF(s)), which diffuses to the underlying vascular smooth muscle and initiates its contraction. AA, arachidonic acid; Ach, acetylcholine; ADP, adenosine diphosphate; ET, endothelin; 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine; M, muscarinic receptor; P, purinoceptor; O, membrane receptors.

Download figure to PowerPoint

Nitric oxide

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References

Protector of the vascular wall

As such, the endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine is more of pharmacological than of physiological interest. Indeed few peripheral blood vessels are innervated by cholinergic nerves, the most likely source of acetylcholine. When present, the cholinergic neurones are located in the adventitia, making the access to the endothelial cells rather unlikely. A number of more physiological stimuli {physical forces, circulating hormones [catecholamines, vasopressin, aldosterone], platelet products [serotonin, adenosine diphosphate (ADP)], autacoids [histamine, bradykinin], prostaglandin E4, thrombin} share with acetylcholine the ability to elicit endothelium-dependent changes in the tone of the underlying smooth muscle (Fig. 1) (see Vanhoutte et al. 1986, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1990, Pearson & Vanhoutte 1993, Stähli et al. 2006, Hristovska et al. 2007, Levine et al. 2007, Touyz 2007, Tang et al. 2008). NO plays a key role in the protection exerted by the endothelium against coronary disease. It is produced by the Ca2+-dependent constitutive isoform of NO synthase (eNOS, NOS III) (Fig. 2) (Marletta 1989, Schini-Kerth & Vanhoutte 1995, Moncada 1997, Li et al. 2002a, Dudzinski et al. 2006, Feron & Balligand 2006, O’Rourke et al. 2006). NO not only prevents abnormal constriction (vasospasm) of the coronary arteries, which favours intraluminal clot formation, but also inhibits the aggregation of platelets, the expression of adhesion molecules at the surface of the endothelial cells, and hence the adhesion and penetration of white blood cells (macrophages), and the release and action of the vasoconstrictor and mitogenic peptide endothelin-1 (Fig. 5). The protective release of NO is triggered by the local presence of thrombin and substances released by aggregating platelets. When this protective role of NO is curtailed, the inflammatory response (Ross 1999) that leads to atherosclerosis is initiated (Vanhoutte 1988, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, Lüscher et al. 1993, Li et al. 2002b, Vallance 2003, Cooke 2004, Voetsch et al. 2004, Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006a,b,c).


Figure 5.  Postulated G-protein-mediated signal transduction processes in a normal, native endothelial cell. Activation of the cell causes the release of nitric oxide (NO), which has important protective effects in the vascular wall. 5-HT, serotonin receptor; B, bradykinin receptor; P, purinoceptor; G, coupling proteins.

Download figure to PowerPoint

The role played by the endothelial cells to protect against thrombin and platelet products by increasing the activity of eNOS has been demonstrated both in vitro (De Mey et al. 1982, Cohen et al. 1983, 1984, Houston et al. 1985, 1986, Shimokawa et al. 1988a,b, Derkach et al. 2000, Motley et al. 2007, Touyz 2007) and in vivo (Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1991). Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5HT) and ADP are the two mediators released by aggregating platelets that can activate eNOS and thus augment the production of NO. Serotonin is the most important and stimulates 5-HT1D serotonergic receptors of the endothelial cell membrane. ADP is a relatively minor contributor that acts on P2y purinoceptors (Fig. 5). The serotonergic receptors and those for thrombin are coupled to the activation of eNOS through pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi-proteins, while the P2y-purinoceptors are linked to the enzyme by Gq-proteins (Flavahan et al. 1989, Shimokawa et al. 1991, Flavahan & Vanhoutte 1995). If the endothelium is absent or dysfunctional such relaxations are no longer observed, and aggregating platelets induce constrictions (vasospasm), because they release the powerful vasoconstrictors thromboxane A2 and serotonin.

The physiological importance of the endothelium-dependent relaxations to platelet products is obvious (see Vanhoutte 1988, 1996, 1997, 2002, Félétou and Vanhoutte 2006b). Thus, if platelet aggregation occurs in a coronary artery with a healthy endothelium the release by the platelets of serotonin (and ADP) and the local production of thrombin will stimulate the endothelial cells with the resulting release of NO. The endothelial mediator will cause the underlying smooth muscle to relax, thus increasing blood flow and mechanically impeding the progression of the coagulation process. NO also exerts in synergy with prostacyclin an immediate feedback inhibition on the platelets (Radomski et al. 1987). When the endothelial barrier is interrupted by injury, the aggregating platelets can approach the vascular smooth muscle cells and cause their contraction by releasing thromboxane A2 and serotonin, initiating the vascular phase of hemostasis. The endothelium-dependent response to aggregating platelets is not present to the same extent in all arteries, but is the most prominent in the coronary and cerebral circulations.

Modulation of the protective role of nitric oxide

The ability of the endothelium to release NO can be up-regulated or down-regulated in the intact organism by a number of chronic factors.

Up-regulation. Shear stress: Both acute and chronic increases in flow, and the resulting increasing force of shearing (shear stress) of the blood on the endothelial cells, augment the expression and the activity (in a Ca2+-independent way) of eNOS, and thus the release of EDRF/NO (Fig. 2) (Rubanyi et al. 1986, Miller & Vanhoutte 1988, Davies 1995, Davis et al. 2001, Stepp et al. 2001, Busse & Fleming 2003, Bellien et al. 2006, Spier et al. 2007, Yan et al. 2007). This immediate effect of an increase in shear stress on the release of NO explains flow-mediated dilatation, a phenomenon often used to estimate the functional state of the endothelium in humans. In the coronary circulation, the effect of shear stress involves the local production of the autacoid bradykinin that stimulates the release of NO through a Gq-dependent mechanism (Fig. 6) (Flavahan et al. 1989, Mombouli & Vanhoutte 1991, 1995, Shimokawa et al. 1991, Roves et al. 1995). The chronic effect of shear stress is due to an up-regulation of eNOS and a greater activation (phosphorylation) of the enzyme, leading to a larger release of NO for each given stimulation, explaining the beneficial effects of regular exercise on endothelial function (Miller & Vanhoutte 1988, Mombouli et al. 1996, Hambrecht et al. 2003, Suvorava et al. 2004, Watts et al. 2004, Lauer et al. 2005, Gertz et al. 2006, Rakobowchuk et al. 2008).


Figure 6.  Model of endothelial dysfunction in the hypercholesterolaemic mouse. Left: in the normal mouse aortic endothelium, l-arginine (l-Arg) is transformed by eNOS to NO, which exerts its well-documented beneficial effects (most are not shown for the sake of clarity), including inhibition of the oxidation of LDLs to oxy-LDL. The by-product of the reaction, l-citrulline (l-Cit), inhibits arginase II (AaII), which is constrained to the microtubules (MT). Right: in the aortic endothelium of the ApoE−/− and the wild-type hypercholesterolaemic mice, the accumulation of oxy-LDL dislocates arginase II from the microtubules and augments its activity. Arginase II competes with endothelial NO synthase for the common substrate l-arginine, leading to uncoupling of NO synthase and the production of superoxide anions (O2), which further enhance the production of oxy-LDL. The latter also facilitates dissociation of eNOS from the caveolae and reduces the genomic expression of the enzyme, leading to further reduction in the production of NO. This model does not account for the biological effects, if any, of l-ornithine (l-Om) and urea produced by arginase II. It also does not account for endothelium-derived relaxing signals other than NO, or for the generation of endothelium-derived contracting substances. CM indicates cell membrane; +, facilitation; −, inhibition (modified from Vanhoutte 2008).

Download figure to PowerPoint

Oestrogens and gender. Although ovariectomy does not alter or even increase the mRNA expression and the presence of eNOS (Wassmann et al. 2001, Okano et al. 2006), the reintroduction of physiological levels of oestrogens in ovariectomized animals augments endothelium-dependent relaxations to muscarinic agonists (Gisclard et al. 1988, Wassmann et al. 2001, Santos et al. 2004, Scott et al. 2007) and accelerates endothelial healing after injury (Filipe et al. 2008). The potentiating effect of oestrogens on endothelium-dependent relaxations involves both genomic (Fig. 2) and non-genomic effects (see Tostes et al. 2003, Keung et al. 2005, Miller & Duckles 2008). It depends presumably both on a reduction in oxidative stress leading to an increased bioavailability of the endothelium-derived mediator and an increased responsiveness of the vascular smooth muscle cells to vasodilator stimuli (Wassmann et al. 2001, Han et al. 2007, Li et al. 2007a,b, Scott et al. 2007). In the intact organism, a reduced production of the endogenous inhibitor of eNOS, asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA) may contribute (Filser 2005, Monsalve et al. 2007). Phyto-oestrogens and selective oestrogen receptor modulators also potentiate endothelium-dependent relaxations/vasodilatations (Lee & Man 2003, Sbarouni et al. 2003, Wong et al. 2006, Chan et al. 2007, Leung et al. 2007). In coronary arteries, the potentiating effect of chronic treatment with oestrogens is seen only with stimuli that activate Gi-coupled receptors on the endothelial cells and is counteracted by the chronic administration of progesterone (Miller & Vanhoutte 1991). It is likely that this potentiating effect of oestrogens on NO release, presumably resulting from lower oxidative stress, helps to explain why endothelium-dependent relaxations are more pronounced in arteries from female than male animals (Kauser & Rubanyi 1995, Kähönen et al. 1998, Dantas et al. 2004) and thus why women are protected against coronary disease, at least until the age of menopause. The opposing effects of oestrogens and progesterone could explain why hormone replacement therapy has not always had the expected beneficial effect on the occurrence of cardiovascular events.

Insulin. Insulin facilitates NO-dependent vasodilatations in vivo (Steinberg et al. 1994, Taddei et al. 1995b, Lembo et al. 1997). It enhances the expression of eNOS in native endothelial cells in vitro (Fisslthaler et al. 2003).

Adiponectin. Adiponectin improves endothelial function and protects the endothelium by promoting eNOS activity and the bioavailability of NO (Chen et al. 2003, Hattori et al. 2003, Tan et al. 2004, Li et al. 2007b, Wang & Scherer 2008, Zhu et al. 2008).

Other hormones. In postmenopausal women, testosterone appears to potentiate endothelium-dependent vasodilatation (Montalcini et al. 2007). Thyroid hormone up-regulates eNOS and augments the endothelial production of NO in the animal (Spooner et al. 2004). Adrenalectomy augments the expression of eNOS (Li et al. 2007a) and aldosterone acutely augments NO-dependent relaxations by a non-genomic action (Uhrenholt et al. 2003, 2004, Skott et al. 2006, Nietlispach et al. 2007). Glucagon-like peptide-1 enhances the vasodilator response to acetylcholine (Basu et al. 2007).

Diet. The chronic intake of ω3-unsaturated fatty acids potentiates the endothelium-dependent relaxations of coronary arteries to aggregating platelets and other stimuli and have antiatherogenic properties (Shimokawa et al. 1987, 1988a,b, Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1989a, Shepherd & Vanhoutte 1991, von Schacky & Harris 2007, Sekikawa et al. 2008, Sena et al. 2008). The same holds true for the intake of flavonoids (Machha & Mustafa 2005, Machha et al. 2007, Xu et al. 2007) and other polyphenols, whether present in red wine (in particular resveratrol) (Stockley 1998, Leikert et al. 2002, Wallerath et al. 2002, da Luz & Coimbra 2004, Dell’Agli et al. 2004, Soares de Moura et al. 2004, Coimbra et al. 2005, Boban et al. 2006, Sarr et al. 2006, Das et al. 2007, Lefèvre et al. 2007, Aubin et al. 2008, Chan et al. 2008a,b, Csiszar et al. 2008, Lopez-Sepulveda et al. 2008), in green tea (Kuriyama et al. 2006, Alexopoulos et al. 2008), grape juice (Anselm et al. 2007), in pomegranate juice (Nigris et al. 2006, 2007a,b) or in dark chocolate (Fisher et al. 2003, Engler et al. 2004, Grassi et al. 2005, Schroeter et al. 2006, Flammer et al. 2007, Taubert et al. 2007).

Arginine. Although the acute administration of l-arginine can favour endothelium-dependent responses in humans (e.g. Bode-Böger et al. 1996, Taddei et al. 1997b, Perticone et al. 2005), its chronic supplementation offers no therapeutic benefit in patients with vascular disease (Wilson et al. 2007), reinforcing the early suspicion (Schini & Vanhoutte 1991a,b) that the semi-essential amino acid is rarely a limiting factor for the endothelial production of NO. An exception may be when the endothelial arginases, which compete with eNOS for this substrate, are more active (Fig. 6) (Ming et al. 2004, Brandes 2006, Ryoo et al. 2006, 2008, Holowatz & Kenney 2007, Katusic 2007, Santhanam et al. 2007, Romero et al. 2008, Vanhoutte 2008).

Down-regulation. Oxygen-derived free radicals: Several enzymes in the endothelial cells can produce superoxide anions (Fig. 7). They include NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidase, cyclooxygenase and eNOS itself, when it is uncoupled by lack of substrate (l-arginine) or shortage of the essential co-factor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) (see Kojda & Harrison 1999, Stuehr et al. 2001, Fleming et al. 2005). Superoxide anions can be dismutated by superoxide dismutase (SOD) to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which can act as an EDHF and contribute to endothelium-dependent relaxations (Fig. 2) (Matoba et al. 2000, Morikawa et al. 2003, Shimokawa & Matoba 2004; see Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006a,b,c, 2007), or be broken down by catalase. However, superoxide anions also scavenge NO avidly with the resulting formation of peroxynitrite (Gryglewski et al. 1986, Rubanyi & Vanhoutte 1986, Auch-Schwelk et al. 1992, Cosentino et al. 1994, Tschudi et al. 1996a, DeLano et al. 2006, Kagota et al. 2007, Miyagawa et al. 2007, Macarthur et al. 2008). This reduces considerably the bioavailability of NO (see Kojda & Harrison 1999). Hence, increases in oxidative stress have been consistently associated with reduced endothelium-dependent relaxations, and antioxidants shown to acutely improve such responses in vitro and in vivo both in animals (e.g. Aubin et al. 2006, Liu et al. 2007) and humans (e.g. Kanani et al. 1999, Taddei et al. 2001, Holowatz & Kenney 2007). However, the therapeutic relevance of these findings is questionable as chronic treatment with antioxidants usually fails to improve endothelial function in people (e.g. Duffy et al. 2001, Pellegrini et al. 2004), with maybe the exception of the chronic administration of low doses of folic acid (Moat et al. 2006).


Figure 7.  Two major contributors of reactive oxygen species in the vascular wall. Left: l-arginine-endothelial NOS (eNOS) pathway. Synthetic pathway of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), an essential cofactor, is also shown and some of the most common inhibitors of NOS, analogues of l-arginine, are indicated. FMN, flavin mononucleotide; GTP, guanosine 5′-triphosphate. Right: activation of the NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX). Endothelial cells express NOX1, NOX2 (gp91phox), NOX4 and NOX5 isoforms, whereas vascular smooth muscle cells express the NOX1, NOX4 and NOX5 and in resistance arteries NOX2 isoforms. Apocynin inhibits NOX by preventing translocation of cytosolic subunits and their association with the membrane located subunits, whereas diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), a flavoprotein inhibitor, is a nonspecific inhibitor of NOX (from Félétou and Vanhoutte 2006b. By permission of the American Physiological Society).

Download figure to PowerPoint

Hormones. Long-term exposure to aldosterone has a detrimental effect on NO-dependent relaxations, presumably by reducing the production of the essential cofactor for eNOS, tetrahydrobiopterin and increasing oxidative stress (Mitchell et al. 2004, Hashikabe et al. 2006, Nagata et al. 2006, Skott et al. 2006, Nietlispach et al. 2007, Sartorio et al. 2007). Melatonin also inhibits the endothelial formation of NO (Silva et al. 2007). Castration of male animals augments the vasodilator response to acetylcholine (Ajayi et al. 2004).

Ageing: Both in animals and in humans, increasing age reduces the ability of the endothelium to elicit endothelium-dependent vasodilatations in vitro and in vivo (see Moritoki et al. 1986, Hongo et al. 1988, Koga et al. 1988, Charpie et al. 1994, Kung & Lüscher 1995, Davidge et al. 1996, Chauhan et al. 1996, Taddei et al. 1997b, 2001, Cernadas et al. 1998, Yasuro et al. 1999, Heymes et al. 2000, Csiszar et al. 2002, 2007, Vanhoutte 2002, Subramanian & MacLeod 2003, Spier et al. 2007, Bulckaen et al. 2008). This is due to an increased activity of arginase, competing with eNOS for the common substrate arginine (Katusic 2007, Santhanam et al. 2007), an augmented production of oxygen-derived free radicals reducing the bioavailability of NO (Tschudi et al. 1996a, Taddei et al. 2001, Csiszar et al. 2002, 2007), a reduced expression/presence of eNOS (Challah et al. 1997, Chou et al. 1998, Csiszar et al. 2002), a reduced activity of the enzyme (Cernadas et al. 1998) and ultimately a lesser release of NO (Tschudi et al. 1996a). In addition, the expression of soluble guanylyl cyclase in ageing vascular smooth muscle is reduced (Klößet al. 2000). However, an important part of the endothelial dysfunction with ageing is due to the endothelial release of vasoconstrictor prostaglandins (see section EDCF).

Smoking and environment. Active and passive smoking blunt endothelium-dependent vasodilatations. This appears to be due to an action of nicotine causing a greater formation of ADMA and to an increased production of oxygen-derived free radicals, both resulting in a lesser availability of NO (Sousa et al. 2005, Michaud et al. 2006, Gamboa et al. 2007, Argacha et al. 2008, Celermajer & Ng 2008, Csiszar et al. 2008, Heiss et al. 2008, Lang et al. 2008). Chronic exposure to air pollution decreases endothelium-dependent vasodilatations (Briet et al. 2007).

Homocysteinaemia. Increased levels of homocysteine impair eNOS-dependent relaxations/vasodilatations both in vitro and in vivo, presumably by increasing oxidative stress (e.g. Bellamy et al. 1998, Chambers et al. 1999, Kanani et al. 1999, Lang et al. 2000, Hanratty et al. 2001, Liu et al. 2007, Looft-Wilson et al. 2008).

Hypercholesterolaemia. Both in animals and in humans, hypercholesterolemia reduces endothelium-dependent relaxations/dilatations and the normalization of the cholesterol level with treatment restores the response (Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1989a,b, Vanhoutte 1991, Trochu et al. 2003, Kaul et al. 2004, Landmesser et al. 2005, August et al. 2006, Fichtlscherer et al. 2006, Inoue & Node 2007, Aubin et al. 2008, Knight et al. 2008, Sena et al. 2008). This is explained best by an increased oxidative stress leading to a reduced bioavailability of NO, an impairment of the turnover rate of eNOS and an increased presence of ADMA (Bode-Böger et al. 1996, Böger & Bode-Böger 2001, Böger et al. 2004, August et al. 2006, Palm et al. 2007).

Obesity. Obese animals and humans exhibit reduced responses to endothelium-dependent vasodilators (Karagiannis et al. 2003, Van Guilder et al. 2006, 2008, Bouvet et al. 2007, Kagota et al. 2007). A major reason for the blunted endothelium-dependent relaxation is the production of EDCF (see section EDCF). Weight loss alone or exercise training improve endothelium-dependent responses (Watts et al. 2004, Focardi et al. 2007, Pierce et al. 2008, Ungvari et al. 2008).

Sleep apnoea. Intermittent hypoxia, as occurring with obstructive sleep apnoea reduces endothelium-dependent responsiveness (Budhiraja et al. 2007).

Hallmark of disease

Hypertension.  Endothelium-dependent relaxations are reduced in isolated arteries from different animal models of hypertension (e.g. Lüscher et al. 1987a,b, 1992, Hongo et al. 1988, Kung & Lüscher 1995, Vanhoutte & Boulanger 1995, Tschudi et al. 1996b, Vanhoutte 1996, Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1997, Zhou et al. 1999). Likewise, the response to endothelium-dependent vasodilators is blunted in hypertensive humans (e.g. Taddei et al. 1995a, 1997a, 2001, Perticone et al. 2005). This blunting can be corrected by an appropriate treatment both in animals and in people (Lüscher et al. 1987b, Hutri-Kahonen et al. 1997, Taddei et al. 1998, Benndorf et al. 2007, Naya et al. 2007). It probably reflects the premature ageing of the vasculature exposed chronically to the increased arterial blood pressure (Taddei et al. 1997b). In essential hypertension, the reduction in response to endothelium-dependent stimuli in vivo may be due in part to higher circulating levels of ADMA (Perticone et al. 2005). In spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the blunting of endothelium-dependent relaxations/vasodilatations is due mainly to the concomitant release of endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor prostanoids (see section Hallmark of vascular disease) rather than to a reduced release of NO (Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1986, Lüscher et al. 1987d, Koga et al. 1988, Yasuro et al. 1999) despite a lower expression of eNOS and soluble guanylyl cyclase in the arterial wall (Chou et al. 1998, Klöβet al. 2000, Michel et al. 2007).

Diabetes.  Insulin resistance and diabetes cause an impairment of arterial endothelium-dependent relaxations in animals and humans, presumably due to the chronic exposure to hyperglycaemia (see De Vriese et al. 2000, Vallejo et al. 2000, Cheng et al. 2001, Guzik et al. 2002, Inkster et al. 2002, Nassar et al. 2002, Pannirselvam et al. 2002, Kim et al. 2003, 2006, Shi et al. 2006, 2007a, Eringa et al. 2007, Goel et al. 2007, Machha et al. 2007, Obrosova et al. 2007, Schäfer et al. 2008). In the case of type 2 diabetes, a genetic predisposition to endothelial dysfunction may be involved (Iellamo et al. 2006). The mechanisms underlying the reduced NO-dependent dilatations in diabetes include: (1) reduced bioavailability of tetrahydrobiopterin and uncoupling of eNOS (Guzik et al. 2002, Pannirselvam et al. 2002, Alp et al. 2003, Cai et al. 2005); (2) increased activity of arginase competing with eNOS for the common substrate, arginine (Ming et al. 2004, Ryoo et al. 2006, 2008, Katusic 2007, Lüscher & Steffel 2008, Romero et al. 2008, Vanhoutte 2008); (3) elevated levels of the endogenous inhibitor of eNOS ADMA (Lin et al. 2002, Xiong et al. 2003); (4) augmented production of superoxide anions and thus scavenging of NO and increased presence of peroxynitrite (Cosentino et al. 1997, Mayhan & Patel 1998, Graier et al. 1999, Maejima et al. 2001, Inkster et al. 2002, Pannirselvam et al. 2002, Pacher & Szabo 2006, Duncan et al. 2007, Quijano et al. 2007, Gao et al. 2008, Luscher & Steffel 2008, Schäfer et al. 2008); (5) quenching of NO by advanced glycosylation products (Bucala et al. 1991, Yin & Xiong 2005, Gao et al. 2008); (6) reduced presence of apelin (Grisk 2007, Zhong et al. 2007); and (7) abnormal responsiveness of vascular smooth muscle (Lu et al. 2005, Lesniewski et al. 2008, Shi et al. 2008). In addition to a reduced bioavailability of NO, the production of vasoconstrictor prostanoids contributes importantly to the endothelial dysfunction of diabetes (see section Hallmark of vascular disease).

Coronary disease.  Individuals at increased risk of coronary heart disease are characterized by impaired peripheral dilatations in response to acetylcholine (Ijzerman et al. 2003). Also in the coronary circulation, endothelial dysfunction is a characteristic of the disease. (e.g. Ludmer et al. 1986, Hodgson & Marshall 1989, Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1997, Vanhoutte et al. 1997, Lavi et al. 2008). Both in animals and humans, the presence of endothelial dysfunction predicts the severity of the outcome, in particular the occurrence of myocardial infarction and stroke (Suwaidi et al. 2000, Halcox et al. 2002, Kuvin & Karas 2003, Mancini 2004, Rossi et al. 2008).

Heart failure.  Endothelium-dependent relaxations are reduced in coronary and peripheral arteries of animals and humans with ventricular hypertrophy and/or heart failure presumably because of the increased oxidative stress resulting from under-perfusion of the tissues and the leading to down-regulation of eNOS and reduced bioavailability of NO (Kaiser et al. 1989, Treasure et al. 1990, Kubo et al. 1991, Katz et al. 1992, Zhao et al. 1995, Smith et al. 1996, Bauersachs et al. 1999, Indik et al. 2001, Nakamura et al. 2001, Landmesser et al. 2002, Malo et al. 2003, Trochu et al. 2003, Ferreiro et al. 2004, Widder et al. 2004, Lida et al. 2005, Gill et al. 2007, Rossi et al. 2008). An impairment of the ability of the vascular smooth muscle cells to relax contributes to the blunting of the endothelium-dependent responsiveness (Gill et al. 2007). The degree of impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilatations predicts the outcome in patients with chronic heart failure (Meyer et al. 2005).

Pulmonary hypertension.  Chronic hypoxia resulting in pulmonary hypertension results in reduced endothelium-dependent relaxations of pulmonary arteries, because of an overproduction of oxygen-derived free radicals leading to reduced activity of eNOS, resulting from a tighter coupling to caveolin-1, and a diminished bioavailability of NO, a phenomenon exacerbated by the genetic deletion of bone morphogenetic protein receptors (Fresquet et al. 2006, Frank et al. 2008). In the monocrotaline-induced form of the disease, a similar endothelial dysfunction caused by oxygen-derived free radicals occurs in the right ventricle (Sun & Ku 2006, Kajiya et al. 2007).

The weak link: regenerated endothelium

Endothelial cells form a monolayer mainly resulting from contact inhibition. After maturation of the body, they remain quiescent for many years before ageing and apoptotic programming initiate their turnover. However, the latter is accelerated by cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. Eventually, the apoptotic cells die and are removed by the bloodstream. They are replaced rapidly by regenerated endothelial cells. It is still uncertain what the exact contribution in this regeneration process is of neighbouring cells, freed of contact inhibition, and circulating endothelial progenitor cells (Vanhoutte 1997, Hibbert et al. 2003, Sata 2003, Dimmeler & Zeiher 2004, Lamping 2007, Filipe et al. 2008, Zampetaki et al. 2008).

Regenerated endothelial cells are dysfunctional (Fig. 8). This conclusion is based on experiments performed on porcine coronary arteries (Shimokawa et al. 1989, 1991, Eto et al. 2005). Thus, 1 month after in vivo balloon denudation of the endothelium of part of the artery, despite total relining of the endothelial surface, rings covered with regenerated endothelium exhibited a marked blunting of the relaxations to aggregating platelets, serotonin or thrombin and the remaining response is no longer inhibited by pertussis toxin. By contrast, relaxations evoked by ADP and bradykinin, which both depend on the Gq-signalling cascade, as well as those to the calcium ionophore A23187 were normal, illustrating the ability of the regenerated endothelial cells to produce NO. These observations implied a selective dysfunction of the Gi-dependent responses in regenerated endothelial cells. This selective dysfunction was reduced by the chronic intake of ω3-unsaturated fatty acid, and exacerbated by a chronic hypercholesterolaemic diet which resulted in the occurrence of typical atherosclerotic lesions in the area of previous denudation (Shimokawa & Vanhoutte 1989a,c). These observations prompt the conclusion that the selective dysfunction of regenerated endothelial cells is the first step allowing the atherosclerotic process.


Figure 8.  Effects of oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxy-LDL) in a regenerated endothelial cell, resulting in the reduced release of nitric oxide (NO). 5-HT, serotonin receptor; B, bradykinin receptor; P, purinoceptor; G, coupling proteins.

Download figure to PowerPoint

To analyse the molecular mechanisms underlying the dysfunction of regenerated endothelial cells on primary cultures were derived from either regenerated or native endothelium (Borg-Capra et al. 1997, Fournet-Bourguignon et al. 2000, Kennedy et al. 2003, Lee et al. 2007). Primary cultures derived from regenerated endothelial cells had the appearance and markers of accelerated senescence, a reduced expression and activity of eNOS, a greater production of oxygen-derived free radicals (produced by the endothelial NADPH oxidase), took up more modified low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and generated more oxidized LDL (oxy-LDL). By contrast, the presence of Gi-proteins was comparable to that observed in primary cultures derived from the native endothelium. The genomic changes observed in cultures of regenerated endothelial cells were consistent with those phenotypic and functional changes. Increased extracellular concentrations of oxy-LDL reduce the production of EDRF/NO and the endothelium-dependent relaxations to serotonin (Boulanger et al. 1985, Cox & Cohen 1996). Taken in conjunction, those observations prompted the assumption that an augmented presence of oxy-LDL contributes to the selective loss in Gi-protein-mediated responses of regenerated endothelial cells and thus of the inability to respond to serotonin and thrombin (Fig. 2). Obviously, this is not the only negative effect of oxygen-derived free radicals and oxy-LDL which play a central role in the atherosclerotic process (Fig. 9) (Stocker & Keaney 2004, 2005, Li & Mehta 2005; August et al. 2006). Other factors include a direct inhibitory effect on the expression, reduced activation (dephosphorylation) and uncoupling of eNOS (Chu et al. 2005, Fleming et al. 2005, Brandes 2006, Heeba et al. 2007) and an enhanced activity of arginase, which competes with NO for the common substrate arginine (Fig. 6) (Ming et al. 2004, Brandes 2006, Ryoo et al. 2006, 2008, Katusic 2007, Romero et al. 2008, Vanhoutte 2008). In addition, a greater production of superoxide anions will reduce the bioavailability of NO and increase the levels of peroxynitrite (Kojda & Harrison 1999, Vanhoutte 2001, Fleming et al. 2005, Brandes 2006, Heeba et al. 2007).


Figure 9.  Mechanisms of oxy-LDL-induced impairment of endothelial NO production. The NO synthase (NOS) uses l-arginine to generate NO. NO production could be attenuated in the presence of oxy-LDL by interfering with the supply of l-arginine to the enzyme through endogenous competitive inhibitors such as asymmetrical dimethyl-l-arginine (ADMA) as well as degradation of arginine through arginase. NOS expression and specific activity are decreased by oxy-LDL through RhoA and PKC. NO bioavailability is reduced by an oxy-LDL-mediated activation of NADPH oxidase, which leads to superoxide anion (O2) formation. This process facilitates the generation of peroxynitrite (ONOO), which subsequently oxidizes tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) of NOS, leading to NOS uncoupling. Uncoupled NOS itself produces O2, further promoting the process of BH4 oxidation. Rho, member of the Rho protein family (either RhoA or Rac) (modified from Brandes 2006).

Download figure to PowerPoint

Genomic factors and endogenous mediators, other than the increased presence of oxy-LDL, may accelerate or contribute to the atherosclerotic process. These include: (1) emergence of fatty acid-binding proteins (Furuhashi et al. 2007, Lee et al. 2007, Furuhashi & Hotamisligil 2008, Hoo et al. 2008); (2) circulating chemokines (Ardigo et al. 2007); (3) inhibition of the proteosome (Herrmann et al. 2007); (4) presence of growth-related oncogene-α (Bechara et al. 2007); and (5) insufficiency of the Paraoxonase-1 gene (Guns et al. 2008).

Regardless of the cause of their dysfunction, the endothelial cells cannot produce enough NO in response to platelets and thrombin, and this NO deficiency permits the inflammatory reaction leading to atherosclerosis (Ross 1999, Aikawa & Libby 2004, Hansson 2005, Barton et al. 2007).


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References

The villains: endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor prostanoids

As stated in the ‘introduction’, the endothelium cells can also initiate contractions of the underlying vascular smooth muscle cells (Fig. 3) (De Mey & Vanhoutte 1982, 1983). Bioassay studies demonstrated that diffusible substances are responsible for these endothelium-dependent increases in vasomotor tone (Rubanyi & Vanhoutte 1985, Iqbal & Vanhoutte 1988, Yang et al. 2003). Although endothelial cells can produce endothelin-1 (Yanagisawa et al. 1988, Yanagisawa & Masaki 1989, Schini & Vanhoutte 1991c, Vanhoutte 1993a,b, Rubanyi & Polokoff 1994, Böhm & Pernow 2007, Kirkby et al. 2008) and other non-prostanoid vasoconstrictor substances (Dhein et al. 1997, Saifeddine et al. 1998; Jankowski et al. 2005), the available evidence strongly suggests that that vasoconstrictor prostaglandins produced by cyclooxygenase in the endothelium explain most endothelium-dependent contractions (Fig. 10) (see Vanhoutte et al. 2005).


Figure 10.  Endothelium-dependent contraction is likely to be composed of two components: generation of prostanoids and ROS. Each component depends on the activity of endothelial COX-1 and the stimulation of the TP receptors located on the smooth muscle to evoke contraction. In the spontaneously hypertensive rat aorta, there is an increased expression of COX-1 and EP3 receptors, increased release of calcium, ROS, endoperoxides and other prostanoids, which facilitates the greater occurrence of endothelium-dependent contraction in the hypertensive rat. The necessary increase in intracellular calcium can be triggered by receptor-dependent agonists, such as acetylcholine or ADP, or mimicked with calcium-increasing agents, such as the calcium ionophore A23187. The abnormal increase in intracellular ROS can be mimicked by the exogenous addition of H2O2 or the generation of extracellular ROS by incubation of xanthine with xanthine oxidase. AA, arachidonic acid; ACh, acetylcholine; ADP, adenosine diphosphate; H2O2, hydrogen peroxide; M, muscarinic receptors; P, purinergic receptors; PGD2, prostaglandin D2; PGE2, prostaglandin E2; PGF, prostaglandin F; PGI2, prostacyclin; PGIS, prostacyclin synthase; PLA2, phospholipase A2; ROS, reactive oxygen species; TXA2, thromboxane A2; TXAS, thromboxane synthase; X + XO, xanthine plus xanthine oxidase.

Download figure to PowerPoint

EDCF-mediated responses.  Endothelium-dependent, cyclooxygenase-dependent contractions to acetylcholine and other vasoactive substances (e.g. arachidonic acid, ATP, the calcium ionophore A23187) have been observed in blood vessels from different species (Furchgott & Vanhoutte 1989, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1990, Kauser & Rubanyi 1995, Davidge & Zhang 1998, Kähönen et al. 1998, Derkach et al. 2000, Wang et al. 2003, Vanhoutte et al. 2005).

Key role of endothelial cyclooxygenase.  Early studies demonstrated that endothelium-dependent contractions are prevented by non-selective inhibitors of cyclooxygenase (Miller & Vanhoutte 1985, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1986, Katusic et al. 1988), exemplifying the pivotal role of this enzyme in the phenomenon (see Vanhoutte et al. 2005). Bioassay studies indicate that the vasoconstrictor prostanoids involved are produced by the endothelial cyclooxygenase, rather than that of the vascular smooth muscle (Fig. 3) (Yang et al. 2003). Studies in arteries of the SHR using preferential and selective inhibitors of the two isoforms of the enzyme [constitutive cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)], molecular biology experiments (Fig. 4) and studies with blood vessels of genetically modified mice concur to suggest that COX-1 is the major source of EDCF (Ge et al. 1995, Traupe et al. 2002a, Ospina et al. 2003, Wang et al. 2003, Yang et al. 2003, Tang et al. 2005a, Gluais et al. 2006). However, if endothelial COX-2 is induced, the prostanoids generated by this isoform also evoke endothelium-dependent contractions (Camacho et al. 1998, Zerrouk et al. 1998, Garcia-Cohen et al. 2000, Álvarez et al. 2005, Blanco-Rivero et al. 2005, Hirao et al. 2008, Ikeda et al. 2008, Shi & Vanhoutte 2008).

Calcium, the trigger for release.  Although the release of EDCF can be tonic (Iwatani et al. 2008) or elicited by sudden stretch (Katusic et al. 1987), it usually is initiated by vasoactive mediators acting at the cell membrane, including acetylcholine (activating endothelial M3-muscarinic receptors; Boulanger et al. 1994) or ADP (activating purinoceptors; Koga et al. 1989, Mombouli & Vanhoutte 1993). Endothelium-dependent contractions are less prominent in lower extracellular Ca2+-concentration, are reduced by vitamin D derivatives, are triggered by calcium ionophores such as A23187, and are paralleled by an increase in endothelial cytosolic Ca2+-concentration (Katusic et al. 1988, Okon et al. 2002, Gluais et al. 2006, Shi et al. 2007a,b, 2008, Tang et al. 2007, Wong et al. 2008). These findings prompt the conclusion that an increased intracellular Ca2+-concentration is the initial trigger for endothelium-dependent contractions, presumably by activating phospholipase A2 which then makes arachidonic acid available to the endothelial cyclooxygenase setting in motion the release of EDCF.

When prostacyclin turns bad.  Cyclooxygenase transforms arachidonic acid into endoperoxides which are released during endothelium-dependent contractions. As endoperoxides per se can activate vascular smooth muscle they are an EDCF (Ito et al. 1991, Asano et al. 1994, Ge et al. 1995, Vanhoutte et al. 2005, Hirao et al. 2008). Endoperoxides are converted into prostacyclin, thromboxane A2, prostaglandin D2, prostaglandin E2 and/or prostaglandin F by their selective synthases (Bos et al. 2004, Norel 2007). The expression of the prostacyclin synthase gene is the most abundant in endothelial cells. During endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine the release of prostacyclin outweighs that of other prostaglandins (Gluais et al. 2005). In arteries where endothelium-dependent contractions to the muscarinic agonist are prominent, prostacyclin does not evoke relaxation of the vascular smooth muscle (Rapoport & Williams 1996, Gluais et al. 2005).Thus, it seems logical to conclude that endoperoxides and prostacyclin are the main mediators of these responses, at least for those evoked by acetylcholine (Ge et al. 1995, Blanco-Rivero et al. 2005, Gluais et al. 2005). However, in particular during EDCF-mediated responses to other agonists (ADP, A23187, endothelin-1, thrombin, nicotine), thromboxane A2 contributes (Katusic et al. 1988, Shirahase et al. 1988, Auch-Schwelk & Vanhoutte 1992, Buzzard et al. 1993, Taddei & Vanhoutte 1993, Derkach et al. 2000, Gluais et al. 2006, 2007).

TP receptors, the effector.  Cyclooxygenase-dependent, endothelium-dependent contractions are inhibited by antagonists of thromboxane-prostanoid (TP) receptors (Tesfamariam et al. 1989, Auch-Schwelk et al. 1990, Kato et al. 1990, Mayhan 1992, Yang et al. 2002, 2003, Zhou et al. 2005). The TP receptors involved are those of the vascular smooth muscle which initiate the contractile response (Yang et al. 2003).

Modulation of ECDF-mediated responses

Reduction in NO production.  Inhibitors of NO synthases cause an immediate potentiation of EDCF-mediated responses (Auch-Schwelk et al. 1992, Yang et al. 2002, Paulis et al. 2008). Previous exposure to endogenous NO released from the endothelial cells or to exogenous NO donors causes a long-term inhibition of endothelium-dependent contractions (Tang et al. 2005b). These observations imply that any condition resulting in a lesser bioavailability of NO will favour the occurrence of EDCF-mediated contractions/constrictions (Félétou et al. 2008, Michel et al. 2008a).

Facilitation by oxygen-derived free radicals.  In some arteries, SOD, that does not permeate cells, abolishes endothelium-dependent contractions suggesting that superoxide anions act as an intercellular messenger which turns on the production of vasoconstrictor prostanoids by the vascular smooth muscle cells (Katusic & Vanhoutte 1989, Katusic 1996). In other blood vessels, however, SOD does not affect endothelium-dependent contractions while cell-permeable scavengers of superoxide anions variably depress the response (Auch-Schwelk et al. 1989, Yang et al. 2002, 2003, Tang & Vanhoutte 2008a). Acetylcholine and A23187 cause a burst of endothelial free radical production (Tang et al. 2007). As the burst is prevented by indomethacin, cyclooxygenase appears to be the main source of superoxide anions, and their production is not a primary event (Tang et al. 2007). The pharmacological data available indicate that, once produced, the free radicals amplify the EDCF-mediated response, presumably in part by stimulating cyclooxygenase of the endothelial cells but also possibly by activating that of the vascular smooth muscle (Auch-Schwelk et al. 1989, Garcia-Cohen et al. 2000, Yang et al. 2002, 2003, Wang et al. 2003, Álvarez et al. 2008), although the latter conclusion is hard to reconcile with their extremely short half-life (with the exception of H2O2). Thus it is unclear how the oxygen-derived free radicals may reach the vascular smooth muscle cells. Whether or not and how the myo-endothelial gap junctions play a role in this transition remains to be determined, despite the fact that gap junction inhibitors reduce EDCF-mediated responses (Tang & Vanhoutte 2008a). Obviously, the scavenging action of superoxide anions on NO, by reducing the bioavailability of the latter (Gryglewski et al. 1986, Rubanyi & Vanhoutte 1986, Auch-Schwelk et al. 1992, Cosentino et al. 1994, Tschudi et al. 1996b, Touyz & Schiffrin 2004, DeLano et al. 2006, Miyagawa et al. 2007, Macarthur et al. 2008) will also favour the occurrence of endothelium-dependent contractions. The resulting combination of the two radicals into peroxynitrite leads to tyrosine nitration of prostacyclin synthase (Zou et al. 2002). This may result in a compensatory production of prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F and thus in augmented endothelium-dependent contractions (Zou et al. 1999, Bachschmid et al. 2003, Gluais et al. 2005).

Oestrogens and gender.  In arteries of ovariectomized animals, chronic treatment with oestrogens reduces the augmented production of vasoconstrictor prostanoids by endothelial COX-1 and reduces the augmented responsiveness of the TP receptors on the vascular smooth muscle cells (Davidge & Zhang 1998, Dantas et al. 1999, Ospina et al. 2003). Oestrogens also reduce acutely EDCF-mediated responses in an NO-independent way (Zhang & Kosaka 2002). The production of endothelium-derived prostanoids is larger in arteries from male than female animals (Kauser & Rubanyi 1995, Kähönen et al. 1998). It is tempting to assume that the lesser occurrence of cardiovascular disease in women prior to menopause is related in part to the braking effect of oestrogens on EDCF-mediated responses.

Ageing.  Endothelium-dependent contractions become more prominent with ageing (Koga et al. 1988, 1989, Iwama et al. 1992, Kung & Lüscher 1995, Heymes et al. 2000, Abeywardena et al. 2002, Matsumoto et al. 2007). Inhibitors of cyclooxygenase, given in vivo or in vitro, prevent or revert, respectively, the blunting of endothelium-dependent relaxations/vasodilatations due to ageing (Koga et al. 1988, 1989, Davidge et al. 1996, Wang et al. 2003, Bulckaen et al. 2008). TP receptor antagonists have a similar effect (Kung & Lüscher 1995, Davidge et al. 1996, Abeywardena et al. 2002). The age dependency of the response is explained best by an increased oxidative stress resulting in the up-regulation of COX-1 and/or the induction of COX-2 (Ge et al. 1995, Heymes et al. 2000, Matsumoto et al. 2007, Shi et al. 2008, Tang & Vanhoutte 2008b). In addition, the expression of the prostacyclin synthase gene augments with age (Numaguchi et al. 1999). Prostacyclin no longer evokes relaxations in arteries from ageing animals (Levy 1980, Rapoport & Williams 1996, Gluais et al. 2005).

Indomethacin augments the relaxations to acetylcholine in isolated arteries of older patients as well as the vasodilator response to the muscarinic agonist in the forearm of ageing people, suggesting that the importance of EDCF-mediated responses also increases with age in humans (Lüscher et al. 1987c, Taddei et al. 1995a, 1997a,b).

Obesity.  High fat intake and obesity potentiate the occurrence of EDCF-mediated responses, possibly because of insulin resistance, resulting in greater production of oxygen-derived free radicals, an up-regulation of the expression of TP receptors, and the unleashed production of endothelin-1 (Gollasch 2002, Traupe et al. 2002a,b, Mundy et al. 2007, Xiang et al. 2008).

Hallmark of vascular disease

Hypertension.  The endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine are blunted and the endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine more pronounced in arteries of the SHR than in those of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) (Fig. 11) (Lockette et al. 1986, Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1986, Lüscher et al. 1987b, Koga et al. 1989, Kähönen et al. 1998). These changes are prevented by inhibitors of cyclooxygenase and antagonists at TP receptors (Lüscher & Vanhoutte 1986, Koga et al. 1989, Kung & Lüscher 1995, Zhou et al. 1999, Yang et al. 2003) The increase in intracellular endothelial Ca2+-concentration caused by acetylcholine is greater in SHR arteries than in those of the WKY, while during exposure to A23187 it is comparable, suggesting that a key aspect of the prominence of endothelium-dependent contractions in the former relates to an abnormal handling of calcium (Tang et al. 2007). In addition, in the aorta of hypertensive strains the expression/presence of COX-1 is increased (Ge et al. 1995, Tang & Vanhoutte 2008b). However, this overexpression is not present in arteries of pre-hypertensive SHR (Ge et al. 1999, Tang & Vanhoutte 2008b). These findings prompt the conclusion that the overexpression of the enzyme in arteries from adult hypertensive animals reflects premature ageing of the endothelium rather than a genetic predisposition. The burst of endothelial free radicals is also greater in arteries of the SHR than in those of the WKY (Tang et al. 2007), implying a greater facilitation of EDCF-mediated responses. The expression of the prostacyclin synthase gene is more abundant in endothelial cells of the SHR than in the WKY endothelium, and the protein presence of the enzyme is augmented by hypertension (Numaguchi et al. 1999, Tang & Vanhoutte 2008b). These endothelial changes explain why acetylcholine causes a greater release of endoperoxides and prostacyclin in SHR than in WKY arteries (Ge et al. 1995, Gluais et al. 2005). Endothelium-dependent contractions are also facilitated by the fact that prostacyclin no longer causes relaxations in arteries of hypertensive animals (Rapoport & Williams 1996, Gluais et al. 2005). In addition, although the mRNA expression and protein presence of TP receptors are comparable in arteries of WKY and SHR (Tang & Vanhoutte 2008b, Tang et al. 2008), the latter are hyper-responsive to the vasoconstrictor effect of endoperoxides and prostacyclin (Levy 1980, Ge et al. 1995, Rapoport & Williams 1996, Gluais et al. 2005). This hyper-responsiveness is present in pre-hypertensive animals (Ge et al. 1999). Thus, it is not a consequence of premature ageing following the chronic exposure to an increased arterial blood pressure, and it constitutes one of the genetic platforms of the disease. Obviously, the absence of vasodilator response to prostacyclin contributes, and helps to explain why in humans cardiovascular disease is accelerated by a dysfunctional prostacyclin receptor mutation (Arehart et al. 2008).


Figure 11.  Endothelium-dependent effects of acetylcholine in rat aorta. Left: endothelium-dependent relaxations in normotensive rats. Right: cyclooxygenase-dependent, endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine in SHR aorta. PGI2, prostacyclin; R, receptor; IP, PGI2 receptor; TP, TP receptor; PLA2, phospholipase A2; AA, arachidonic acid; COX1, cyclooxygenase 1; S-18886 (terutroban), antagonist of TP receptors; M, muscarinic receptor, PGIS, prostacyclin synthase; PGH2, endoperoxides; sGC, soluble guanylyl cyclase; AC, adenylyl cyclase; SR, sarcoplasmic reticulum; +, activation; −, inhibition; ?, unknown site of formation (from Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006b. By permission of the American Physiological Society).

Download figure to PowerPoint

Aspirin and indomethacin potentiate the vasodilator response to acetylcholine in the forearm of patients with hypertension but not in that of normotensive subjects (Taddei et al. 1995a, 1997a,b, Monobe et al. 2001). This then suggests that EDCF-mediated responses also are part of the endothelial dysfunction of human hypertension.

Diabetes.  The endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine are blunted in a number of arteries from diabetic animals (see Tesfamariam 1994, De Vriese et al. 2000). This is due in part to the concomitant release of EDCF and can be attributed to the exposure of the endothelial cells to high glucose, resulting in increased oxidative stress and overexpression of both COX-1 and COX-2 (Tesfamariam et al. 1990, 1991, Shi et al. 2006, 2007a,b, 2008, Xu et al. 2006, Obrosova et al. 2007, Michel et al. 2008b, Shi & Vanhoutte 2008). In the case of diabetes, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may play a more crucial role in triggering and amplifying EDCF-mediated responses (Shi et al. 2007b, 2008, Shi & Vanhoutte 2008).

Coronary disease.  Aspirin and the TP receptor inhibitor terutroban improve endothelial function in patients with coronary disease, suggesting that endothelium-derived prostanoids contribute to the endothelial dysfunction resulting from the disease (Husain et al. 1998, Belhassen et al. 2003).


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References

Native, healthy endothelial cells respond to a number of stimuli (e.g. serotonin from aggregating platelets and thrombin) by releasing NO, which relaxes the vascular smooth muscle that surrounds them. NO, in synergy with prostacyclin, further inhibits platelet aggregation. It also reduces the endothelial expression of adhesion molecules and thus the adhesion and penetration of leucocytes (macrophages). The endothelial mediator also prevents the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and limits the formation of oxy-LDL. Ageing and certain lifestyle factors (e.g. lack of exercise, Western diet, pollution and smoking), or certain diseases (e.g. diabetes and hypertension) result in a lesser release of NO and an acceleration of the turnover of the apoptotic process in the endothelium. The apoptotic endothelial cells are replaced by regenerated ones. However, such regenerated cells are dysfunctional, senescent, and incapable of producing the required amounts of NO, which facilitates the inflammatory response leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. The shortage of NO also unleashes the production of endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor prostanoids (EDCF), in particular endoperoxides and prostacyclin. These prostanoids activate TP- receptors of the vascular smooth muscle leading to vasoconstriction which amplifies the degree of endothelial dysfunction. Whether or not the endothelial dysfunction caused by the imbalance between the production of NO and EDCFs can at least temporarily be compensated for in humans by EDHF-mediated responses (see Félétou & Vanhoutte 2006a,b, 2007) remains to be established.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References

The authors thank Mr Robert R. Lorenz for the expert help in preparing the figures.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Nitric oxide
  4. EDCF
  5. Conclusion
  6. Conflict of interest
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. References
  • Abeywardena, M.Y., Jablonskis, L.T. & Head, R.J. 2002. Age- and hypertension-induced changes in abnormal contractions in rat aorta. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 40, 930937.
  • Aikawa, M. & Libby, P. 2004. The vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque pathogenesis and therapeutic approach. Cardiovasc Pathol 13, 125138.
  • Ajayi, A.A., Ogungbade, G.O. & Okorodudu, A.O. 2004. Sex hormone regulation of systemic endothelial and renal microvascular reactivity in type-2 diabetes: studies in gonadectomized and sham-operated Zucker diabetic rats. Eur J Clin Invest 34, 349357.
  • Alexopoulos, N., Vlachopoulos, C., Aznaouridis, K., Baou, K., Vasiliadou, C., Pietri, P., Xaplanteris, P., Stefanadi, E. & Stefanadis, C. 2008. The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 15, 300305.
  • Alp, N.J., Mussa, S., Khoo, J., Cai, S., Guzik, T., Jefferson, A., Goh, N., Rockett, K.A. & Channon, K.M. 2003. Tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent preservation of nitric oxide-mediated endothelial function in diabetes by targeted transgenic GTP-cyclohydrolase I overexpression. J Clin Invest 112, 725735.
  • Álvarez, Y., Briones, A.M., Balfagón, G., Alonso, M.J. & Salaices, M. 2005. Hypertension increases the participation of vasoconstrictor prostanoids from cyclooxygenase-2 in phenylephrine responses. J Hypertens 23, 767777.
  • Álvarez, Y., Briones, A.M., Hernanz, R., Pérez-Girón, J.V., Alonso, M.J. & Salaixes, M. 2008. Role of NADPH oxidase and iNOS in vasoconstrictor responses of vessels from hypertensive and normotensive rats. Br J Pharmacol 153, 926935.
  • Anselm, E., Chataigneau, M., Ndiaye, M., Chataigneau, T. & Schini-Kerth, V.B. 2007. Grape juice causes endothelium-dependent relaxation via a redox-sensitive Src- and Akt-dependent activation of eNOS. Cardiovasc Res 73, 404413.
  • Ardigo, D., Assimes, T.L., Fortmann, S.P. & Go, A.S. 2007. Circulating chemokines accurately identify individuals with clinically significant atherosclerotic heart disease. Physiol Genomics 31, 402409.
  • Arehart, E., Stitham, J., Asselbergs, F.W., Douville, K., MacKenzie, T., Fetalvero, K.M., Gleim, S., Kasza, Z., Rao, Y., Martel, L. et al. 2008. Acceleration of cardiovascular disease by a dysfunctional prostacyclin receptor mutation: potential implications for cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition. Circ Res 102, 986993.
  • Argacha, J.F., Adamopoulos, D., Gujic, M., Fontaine, D., Amyai, N., Berkenboom, G. & Van De Borne, P. 2008. Acute effects of passive smoking on peripheral vascular function. Hypertension 51, 15061511.
  • Asano, H., Shimizu, K., Muramatsu, M., Iwama, Y., Toki, Y., Miyazaki, Y., Okumura, K., Hashimoto, H. & Ito, T. 1994. Prostaglandin H2 as an endothelium-derived contracting factor modulates endothelin-1-induced contraction. J Hypertens 12, 383390.
  • Aubin, M., Carrier, M., Shi, Y.F., Tardif, J. & Perrault, L.P. 2006. Role of probucol on endothelial dysfunction of epicardial coronary arteries associated with left ventricular hypertrophy. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 47, 702710.
  • Aubin, M.C., Lajoie, C., Clément, R., Gosselin, H., Calderone, A. & Perrault, L.P. 2008. Female rats fed a high-fat diet were associated with vascular dysfunction and cardiac fibrosis in the absence of overt obesity and hyperlipidemia: therapeutic potential of resveratrol. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 325, 961968.
  • Auch-Schwelk, W. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1992. Contractions to endothelin in normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats: role of endothelium and prostaglandins. Blood Press 1, 4549.
  • Auch-Schwelk, W., Katusic, Z.S. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989. Contractions to oxygen-derived free radicals are augmented in aorta of the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Hypertension 13, 859864.
  • Auch-Schwelk, W., Katusic, Z.S. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1990. Thromboxane A2 receptor antagonists inhibit endothelium-dependent contractions. Hypertension 15, 699703.
  • Auch-Schwelk, W., Katusic, Z.S. & Vanhoutte, P.M.. 1992. Nitric oxide inactivates endothelium-derived contracting factor in the rat aorta. Hypertension 19, 442445.
  • August, M., Wingerter, O., Oelze, M., Wenzel, P., Kleschyov, A.L., Daiber, A., Mülsch, A., Münzel, T. & Tsilimingas, N. 2006. Mechanisms underlying dysfunction of carotid arteries in genetically hyperlipidemic rabbits. Nitric Oxide 15, 241251.
  • Bachschmid, M., Thurau, S., Zou, M.H. & Ullrich, V. 2003. Endothelial cell activation by endotoxin involves superoxide/NO-mediated nitration of prostacyclin synthase and thromboxane receptor stimulation. FASEB J 17, 914916.
  • Barton, M., Minotti, R. & Haas, E. 2007. Inflammation and atherosclerosis. Circ Res 101, 750751.
  • Basu, A., Charkoudian, N., Schrage, W., Rizza, R.A., Basu, R. & Joyner, M.J. 2007. Beneficial effects of GLP-1 on endothelial function in humans: dampening by glyburide but not by glimepiride. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293, E1289E1295.
  • Bauersachs, J., Bouloumie, A., Fraccarollo, D., Hu, K., Busse, R. & Ertl, G. 1999. Endothelial dysfunction in chronic myocardial infarction despite increased vascular endothelial nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylate cyclase expression: role of enhanced vascular superoxide production. Circulation 100, 292298.
  • Bechara, C., Wang, X., Chai, H., Lin, P.H., Yao, Q. & Chen, C. 2007. Growth-related oncogene-α induces endothelial dysfunction through oxidative stress and downregulation of eNOS in porcine coronary arteries. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H3088H3095.
  • Behrendt, D. & Ganz, P. 2002. Endothelial function: from vascular biology to clinical applications. Am J Cardiol 90, 40L48L.
  • Belhassen, L., Pelle, G., Dubois-Rande, J. & Adnot, S. 2003. Improved endothelial function by the thromboxane a2 receptor antagonist s 18886 in patients with coronary artery disease treated with aspirin. J Am Coll Cardiol 41, 11981204.
  • Bellamy, M.F., McDowell, I.F., Ramsey, M.W., Brownlee, M., Bones, C., Newcombe, R.G. & Lewis, M.J. 1998. Hyperhomocysteinemia after an oral methionine load acutely impairs endothelial function in healthy adults. Circulation 98, 18481852.
  • Bellien, J., Iacob, M., Gutierrez, L., Isabelle, M., Lahary, A., Thuillez, C. & Joannides, R. 2006. Crucial role of NO and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor in human sustained conduit artery flow-mediated dilatation. Hypertension 48, 10881094.
  • Benndorf, R.A., Appel, D., Maas, R., Schwedhelm, E., Wenzel, U.O. & Böger, R.H. 2007. Telmisartan improves endothelial function in patients with essential hypertension. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 50, 367371.
  • Blanco-Rivero, J., Cachofeiro, V., Lahera, V., Aras-Lopez, R., Márquez-Rodas, I., Salaices, M., Xavier, F.E., Ferrer, M. & Balfagón, G. 2005. Participation of prostacyclin in endothelial dysfunction induced by aldosterone in normotensive and hypertensive rats. Hypertension 46, 107112.
  • Boban, M., Modun, D., Music, I., Vukovic, J., Brizic, I., Salamunic, I., Obad, A., Palada, I. & Dujic, Z. 2006. Red wine induced modulation of vascular function: separating the role of polyphenols, ethanol, and urates. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 47, 695701.
  • Bode-Böger, S.M., Bőger, R.H., Alfke, H., Heinzel, D., Tsikas, D., Creutzig, A., Alexander, K. & Frőlich, J.C. 1996. l-Arginine induces nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation in patients with critical limb ischemia: a randomized, controlled study. Circulation 93, 8590.
  • Böger, R.H. & Bode- Böger, S.M. 2001. The clinical pharmacology of l-arginine. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 41, 7999.
  • Böger, R.H., Tsikas, D., Bode- Böger, S.M., Phivthong-ngam, L., Schwedhelm, E. & Frőlich, J.C. 2004. Hypercholesterolemia impairs basal nitric oxide synthase turnover rate: a study investigating the conversion of L-(guanidino-15N2)-arginine to 15 N-labeled nitrate by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nitric Oxide 11, 18.
  • Böhm, F. & Pernow, J. 2007. The importance of endothelin-1 for vascular dysfunction in cardiovascular disease. Cardiovasc Res 76, 818.
  • Borg-Capra, C., Fournet-Bourguignon, M.P., Janiak, P., Villeneuve, N., Bidouard, J.P., Vilaine, J.P. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1997. Morphological heterogeneity with normal expression but altered function of G proteins in porcine cultured regenerated coronary endothelial cells. Br J Pharmacol 122, 9991008.
  • Bos, C.L., Richel, D.J., Ritsema, T., Peppelenbosch, M.P. & Versteeg, H.H. 2004. Prostanoids and prostanoid receptors in signal transduction. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 26, 11871205.
  • Boulanger, C., Bühler, F.R. & Lüscher, T.F. 1985. Low density lipoproteins impair the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor from cultured porcine endothelial cells. Eur Heart J 10, 331. (Abstract)
  • Boulanger, C.M., Morrison, K.J. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1994. Mediation by M3-muscarinic receptors of both endothelium-dependent contraction and relaxation to acetylcholine in the aorta of the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Br J Pharmacol 112, 519524.
  • Bouvet, C., Chantemèle, E.B., Guihot, A.L., Vessières, E., Bocquet, A., Dumont, O., Jardel, A., Loufrani, L., Moreau, P. & Henrion, D. 2007. Flow-induced remodeling in resistance arteries from obese Zucker rats is associated with endothelial dysfunction. Hypertension 50, 248254.
  • Brandes, R.P. 2006. Roads to dysfunction: argininase II contributes to oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced attenuation of endothelial NO production. Circ Res 99, 918920.
  • Briet, M., Collin, C., Laurent, S., Tan, A., Azizi, M., Agharazii, M., Jeunemaitre, X., Alhenc-Gelas, F. & Boutouyrie, P. 2007. Endothelial function and chronic exposure to air pollution in normal male subjects. Hypertension 50, 970976.
  • Bucala, R., Tracey, K.J. & Cerami, A. 1991. Advanced glycosylation products quench nitric oxide and mediate defective endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in experimental diabetes. J Clin Invest 87, 432438.
  • Budhiraja, R., Parthasarathy, S. & Quan, S.F. 2007. Endothelial dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med 3, 409415.
  • Bulckaen, H., Prévost, G., Boulanger, E., Robitaille, G., Roquet, V., Gaxatte, C., Garçon, G., Corman, B., Gosset, P., Shirali, P., Creusy, C. & Puisieux, F. 2008. Low-dose aspirin prevents age-related endothelial dysfunction in a mouse model of physiological aging. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H1562H1570.
  • Busse, R. & Fleming, I. 2003. Regulation of endothelium-derived vasoactive autacoid production by hemodynamic forces. Trends Pharmacol Sci 24, 2429.
  • Busse, R., Edwards, G., Félétou, M., Fleming, I. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2002. EDHF: Bringing the concepts together. Trends Pharmacol Sci 23, 374380.
  • Buzzard, C.J., Pfister, S.L. & Campbell, W.B. 1993. Endothelium-dependent contractions in rabbit pulmonary artery are mediated by thromboxane A2. Circ Res 72, 10231034.
  • Cai, S., Khoo, J. & Channon, K.M. 2005. Augmented BH4 by gene transfer restores nitric oxide synthase function in hyperglycemic human endothelial cells. Cardiovasc Res 65, 823831.
  • Camacho, M., Lopez-Belmonte, J. & Vila, L. 1998. Rate of vasoconstrictor prostanoids released by endothelial cells depends on cyclooxygenase-2 expression and prostaglandin I synthase activity. Circ Res 83, 353365.
  • Celermajer, D.S. & Ng, M.K.C. 2008. Where there’s smoke. J Am Coll Cardiol 51, 17721774.
  • Cernadas, M.R., Sánchez de Miguel, L., Garcia-Durán, M., González-Fernández, F., Millás, I., Montón, M., Rodrigo, J., Rico, L., Fernández, P., De Frutos, T., Rodriguez-Feo, J.A., Guerra, J., Caramelo, C., Casado, S. & López-Farré, A. 1998. Expression of constitutive and inducible nitric oxide synthases in the vascular wall of young and aging rats. Circ Res 83, 279286.
  • Challah, M., Nadaud, S., Philippe, M., Battle, T., Soubrier, F., Corman, B. & Michel, J.B. 1997. Circulating and cellular markers of endothelial dysfunction with aging in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 42, H1941H1948.
  • Chambers, J.C., McGregor, A., Jean-Marie, J., Obeid, O.A. & Kooner, J.S. 1999. Demonstration of rapid onset vascular endothelial dysfunction after hyperhomocysteinemia: an effect reversible with vitamin C therapy. Circulation 99, 11561160.
  • Chan, Y.C., Leung, F.P., Yao, X., Lau, C.W., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Huang, Y. 2007. Raloxifene modulates pulmonary vascular reactivity in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 49, 355361.
  • Chan, S.L., Capdeville-Atkinson, C. & Atkinson, J. 2008a. Red wine polyphenols improve endothelium-dependent dilation in rat cerebral arterioles. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 51, 553558.
  • Chan, S.L., Tabellion, A., Bagrel, D., Perrin-Sarrado, C., Capdeville-Atkinson, C. & Atkinson, J. 2008b. Impact of chronic treatment with red wine polyphenols (RWP) on cerebral arterioles in the spontaneous hypertensive rat. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 51, 304310.
  • Charpie, J.R., Schreur, K.D., Papadopoulos, S.M. & Webb, R.C. 1994. Endothelium dependency of contractile activity differs in infant and adult vertebral arteries. J Clin Invest 93, 13391343.
  • Chauhan, A., More, R.S., Mullins, P.A., Taylor, G., Petch, C. & Schofield, P.M. 1996. Aging-associated endothelial dysfunction in humans is reversed by l-arginine. J Am Coll Cardiol 28, 17961804.
  • Chen, H., Montagnani, M., Funahashi, T., Shimomura, I. & Quon, M.J. 2003. Adiponectin stimulates production of nitric oxide in vascular endothelial cells. J Biol Chem 278, 4502145026.
  • Cheng, Z.J., Vaskonen, T., Tikkanen, I., Nurminen, K., Ruskoaho, H., Vapaatato, H., Muller, D., Park, J.K., Luft, F.C. & Mervaala, E.M.A. 2001. Endothelial dysfunction and salt-sensitive hypertension in spontaneously diabetic goto-kakizaki rats. Hypertension 37, 433.
  • Chou, T., Yen, M., Li, C. & Ding, Y. 1998. Alterations of nitric oxide synthase expression with aging and hypertension in rats. Hypertension 31, 643648.
  • Chu, Y., Alwahdani, A., Iida, S., Lund, D.D., Faraci, F.M. & Heistad, D.D. 2005. Vascular effects of the human extracellular superoxide dismutase R213G variant. Circulation 112, 10471053.
  • Cohen, R.A., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1983. Inhibitory role of the endothelium in the response of isolated coronary arteries to platelets. Science 221, 273274.
  • Cohen, R.A., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1984. Vasodilatation mediated by the coronary endothelium in response to aggregating platelets. Bibl Cardiol 38, 3542.
  • Coimbra, S.R., Lage, S.H., Brandizzi, L., Yoshida, V. & Da Luz, P.L. 2005. The action of red wine and purple grape juice on vascular reactivity is independent of plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic patients. Braz J Med Biol Res 38, 13391347.
  • Cooke, J.P. 2004. The pivotal role of nitric oxide for vascular health. Can J Cardiol 20, 7B15B.
  • Cosentino, F., Sill, J.C. & Katusic, Z.S. 1994. Role of superoxide anions in the mediation of endothelium-dependent contractions. Hypertension 23, 229235.
  • Cosentino, F., Hishikawa, K., Katusic, Z.S. & Lűscher, T.F. 1997. High glucose increases nitric oxide synthase expression and superoxide anion generation in human aortic endothelial cells. Circulation 96, 2528.
  • Cox, D.A. & Cohen, M.L. 1996. Selective enhancement of 5-hydroxytryptamine-induced contraction of porcine coronary artery by oxidized low-density lipoprotein. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 276, 10951103.
  • Csiszar, A., Ungvari, Z., Edwards, J.G., Kaminski, P., Wolin, M.S., Koller, A. & Kaley, G. 2002. Aging-induced phenotypic changes and oxidative stress impair coronary arteriolar function. Circ Res 90, 11591166.
  • Csiszar, A., Labinskyy, N., Orosz, Z., Xiangmin, Z., Buffenstein, R. & Ungvari, Z. 2007. Vascular aging in the longest-living rodent, the naked mole rat. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H919H927.
  • Csiszar, A., Labinskyy, N., Podlutsky, A., Kaminski, P.M., Wolin, M.S., Zhang, C., Mukhopadhyay, P., Pacher, P., Hu, F., Cabo, R., Ballabh, P. & Ungvari, Z. 2008. Vasoprotective effects of resveratrol and SIRT1: attenuation of cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress and proinflammatory phenotypic alterations. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H2721H2735.
  • Dantas, A.P.V., Scivoletto, R., Fortes, Z.B., Nigro, D. & Carvalho, M.H.C. 1999. Influence of female sex hormones on endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor prostanoid generation in microvessels of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Hypertension 34, 914919.
  • Dantas, A.P.V., Franco, M.C.P., Silva-Antonialli, M.M., Tostes, R.C.A., Fortes, Z.B., Nigro, D. & Carvalho, M.H.C. 2004. Gender differences in superoxide generation in microvessels of hypertensive rats: role of NAD(P)H-oxidase. Cardiovasc Res 61, 2229.
  • Das, S., Santani, D.D. & Dhalla, N.S. 2007. Experimental evidence for the cardioprotective effects of red wine. Exp Clin Cardiol 12, 510.
  • Davidge, S.T. & Zhang, Y. 1998. Estrogen replacement suppresses a prostaglandin H synthase-dependent vasoconstrictor in rat mesenteric arteries. Circ Res 83, 388395.
  • Davidge, S.T., Hubel, C.A. & McLaughlin, M.K. 1996. Impairment of vascular function is associated with an age-related increase of lipid peroxidation in rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 40, R1625R1631.
  • Davies, P.F. 1995. Flow-mediated endothelial mechanotransduction. Physiol Rev 75, 519560.
  • Davis, M.E., Cai, H., Drummond, G.R. & Harrison, D.G. 2001. Shear stress regulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression through c-Src by divergent signaling pathways. Circ Res 89, 10731080.
  • De Mey, J.G. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1982. Heterogeneous behavior of the canine arterial and venous wall. Importance of the endothelium. Circ Res 51, 439447.
  • De Mey, J.G. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1983. Anoxia and endothelium dependent reactivity of the canine femoral artery. J Physiol 335, 6574.
  • De Mey, J.G., Claeys, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1982. Endothelium-dependent inhibitory effects of acetylcholine, adenosine triphosphate, thrombin and arachidonic acid in the canine femoral artery. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 222, 166173.
  • De Vriese, A.S., Verbeuren, T.J., Van de Voorde, J., Lameire, N.H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2000. Endothelial dysfunction in diabetes. Br J Pharmacol 130, 963974.
  • DeLano, F.A., Parks, D.A., Ruedi, J.M., Babior, B.M. & Schmid-Schönbein, G.W. 2006. Microvascular display of xanthine oxidase and NADPH oxidase in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Microcirculation 13, 551566.
  • Dell’Agli, M., Buscialà, A. & Bosisio, E. 2004. Vascular effects of wine polyphenols. Cardiovasc Res 63, 593602.
  • Derkach, D.N., Ihara, E., Hirano, K., Nishimura, J., Takahashi, S. & Kanaide, H. 2000. Thrombin causes endothelium-dependent biphasic regulation of vascular tone in the porcine renal interlobar artery. Br J Pharmacol 131, 16351642.
  • Dhein, S., Hartmann, E., Salameh, A. & Klaus, W. 1997. Characterization of a peptide endothelium-derived constricting factor EDCF. Pharmacol Res 35, 4350.
  • Dickson, B.C. & Gotlieb, A.I. 2004. Endothelial dysfunction and repair in the pathogenesis of stable and unstable fibroinflammatory atheromas. Can J Cardiol 20(Suppl. B), 16B22B.
  • Dimmeler, S. & Zeiher, A.M. 2004. Vascular repair by circulating endothelial progenitor cells: the missing link in atherosclerosis? J Mol Med 82, 671677.
  • Dudzinski, D.M., Igarashi, J., Greif, D. & Michel, T. 2006. The regulation and pharmacology of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 46, 235276.
  • Duffy, S.J., Gokce, N., Holbrook, M., Hunter, L.M., Biegelsen, E.S., Huang, A., Keaney, J.F., Jr & Vita, J.A. 2001. Effect of ascorbic acid treatment on conduit vessel endothelial dysfunction in patients with hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 280, H528H534.
  • Duncan, E.R., Walker, S.J., Ezzat, V.A., Wheatcroft, S.B., Li, J.M., Shah, A.M. & Kearney, M.T. 2007. Accelerated endothelial dysfunction in mild prediabetic insulin resistance: the early role of reactive oxygen species. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293, E1311E1319.
  • Engler, M.B., Engler, M.M., Chen, C.Y., Malloy, M.J., Browne, A., Chiu, E.Y., Kwak, H.K., Milbury, P., Paul, S.M., Blumberg, J. & Mietus-Snyder, M.L. 2004. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and increases plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults. J Am Coll Nutr 23, 197204.
  • Eringa, E.C., Stehouwer, C.D.A., Roos, M.H., Westerhof, N. & Sipkema, P. 2007. Selective resistance to vasoactive effects of insulin in muscle resistance arteries of obese Zucker (falfa) rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293, E1134E1139.
  • Eto, Y., Shimokawa, H., Fukumoto, Y., Matsumoto, Y., Morishige, K., Kunihiro, I., Kandabashi, T. & Takeshita, A. 2005. Combination therapy with cerivastatin and nifedipine improves endothelial dysfunction after balloon injury in porcine coronary arteries. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 46, 16.
  • Félétou, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2006a. EDHF: where are we now? Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 26, 12151225.
  • Félétou, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2006b. Endothelial dysfunction: a multifaceted disorder (The Wiggers Award Lecture). Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291, H985H1002.
  • Félétou, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2006c. EDHF: The Complete Story, pp. 1298. CRC Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton.
  • Félétou, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007. Endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizations: past beliefs and present facts. Ann Med 39, 495516.
  • Félétou, M., Tang, E.H.C. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. Nitric oxide the gatekeeper of endothelial vasomotor control. Front Biosci 13, 41984217.
  • Feron, O. & Balligand, J. 2006. Caveolins and the regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the heart. Cardiovasc Res 69, 788797.
  • Ferreiro, C.R., Chagas, A.C.P., Carvalho, M.H.C., Dantas, A.P., Scavone, C., Souza, L.C.B., Buffolo, E. & Da Luz, P.L. 2004. Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase is increased in patients with heart failure due to ischemic disease. Braz J Med Biol Res 37, 13131320.
  • Fichtlscherer, S., Schmidt-Lucke, C., Bojunga, S., Rössig, L., Heeschen, C., Dimmeler, S. & Zeiher, A.M. 2006. Differential effects of short-term lipid lowering with ezetimibe and statins on endothelial function in patients with CAD: clinical evidence for ‘pleiotropic’ functions of statin therapy. Eur Heart J 27, 11821190.
  • Filipe, C., Lam, S.L.L., Brouchet, L., Billon, A., Benouaich, V., Fontaine, V., Gourdy, P., Lenfant, F., Arnal, J.F., Gadeau, A.P. & Laurell, H. 2008. Estradiol accelerates endothelial healing through the retrograde commitment of uninjured endothelium. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H2822H2830.
  • Filser, D. 2005. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA): the silent transition from an ‘uraemic toxin’ to a global cardiovascular risk molecule. Eur J Clin Invest 35, 7179.
  • Fisher, N.D., Hughes, M., Gerhard-Herman, M. & Hollenberg, N.K. 2003. Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. J Hypertens 21, 22812286.
  • Fisslthaler, B., Benzing, T., Busse, R. & Fleming, I. 2003. Insulin enhances the expression of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase in native endothelial cells: a dual role for Akt and AP-1. Nitric Oxide 8, 253261.
  • Flammer, A.J., Hermann, F., Sudano, I., Spieker, L., Hermann, M., Cooper, K.A., Serafini, M., Lüscher, T.F., Ruschitzka, R., Noll, G. & Corti, R. 2007. Dark chocolate improves coronary vasomotion and reduces platelet reactivity. Circulation 116, 23762382.
  • Flavahan, N. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1995. Endothelial cell signaling and endothelial dysfunction. Am J Hypertens 8, 28S41S.
  • Flavahan, N.A., Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989. Pertussis toxin inhibits endothelium-dependent relaxations to certain agonists in porcine coronary arteries. J Physiol 408, 549560.
  • Fleming, I. & Busse, R. 2006. Endothelium-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and vascular function. Hypertension 47, 629633.
  • Fleming, I., Mohamed, A., Galle, J., Turchanowa, L., Brandes, R.P., Fisslthaler, B. & Busse, R. 2005. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein increases superoxide production by endothelial nitric oxide synthase by inhibiting PKCα. Cardiovasc Res 65, 897906.
  • Focardi, M., Dick, G.M., Picchi, A., Zhang, C. & Chilian, W.M. 2007. Restoration of coronary endothelial function in obese Zucker rats by a low-carbohydrate diet. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292, H2093H2099.
  • Förstermann, U. & Münzel, T. 2006. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase in vascular disease: from marvel to menace. Circulation 113, 17081714.
  • Fournet-Bourguignon, M.P., Castedo-Delrieu, M., Bidouard, J.P., Leonce, S., Saboureau, D., Delescluse, I., Vilaine, J.P. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2000. Phenotypic and functional changes in regenerated porcine coronary endothelial cells: increased uptake of modified LDL and reduced production of NO. Circ Res 86, 854861.
  • Frank, D.B., Lowery, J., Anderson, L., Brink, M., Reese, J. & De Caestecker, M. 2008. Increased susceptibility to hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in Bmpr2 mutant mice is associated with endothelial dysfunction in the pulmonary vasculature. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 294, L98L109.
  • Fresquet, F., Pourageaud, F., Leblais, V., Brandes, R.P., Savineau, J.P., Marthan, R. & Muller, B. 2006. Role of reactive oxygen species and gp91phox in endothelial dysfunction of pulmonary arteries induced by chronic hypoxia. Br J Pharmacol 148, 714723.
  • Furchgott, R.F. 1988. Studies on relaxation of rabbit aorta by sodium nitrite: the basis for the proposal that acid-activatable inhibitory factor from bovine retractor penis is inorganic nitrite and the endothelium-derived relaxing factor is nitric oxide. In: P.M.Vanhoutte (ed.) Vasodilatation: Vascular Smooth Muscle, Peptides, Autonomic Nerves and Endothelium, pp. 401414. Raven Press, New York.
  • Furchgott, R.F. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989. Endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors. FASEB J 3, 20072017.
  • Furchgott, R.F. & Zawadzki, J.V. 1980. The obligatory role of endothelial cells in the relaxation of arterial smooth muscle by acetylcholine. Nature 288, 373376.
  • Furuhashi, M. & Hotamisligil, G.S. 2008. Fatty acid-binding proteins: role in metabolic diseases and potential as drug targets. Nat Rev 7, 489503.
  • Furuhashi, M., Tuncman, G., Görgün, C.Z., Makowski, L., Atsumi, G., Vaillancourt, E., Kono, K., Babaev, V.R., Fazio, S., Linton, M.F., Sulsky, R., Robl, J.A., Parker, R.A. & Hotamisligil, G.S. 2007. Treatment of diabetes and atherosclerosis by inhibiting fatty-acid-binding protein aP2. Nature 447, 959965.
  • Gamboa, A., Shibao, C., Diedrich, A., Choi, L., Pohar, B., Jordan, J., Paranjape, S., Farley, G. & Biaggioni, I. 2007. Contribution of endothelial nitric oxide to blood pressure in humans. Hypertension 49, 170177.
  • Ganz, P. & Vita, J.A. 2003. Testing endothelial vasomotor function: nitric oxide, a multipotent molecule. Circulation 108, 20492053.
  • Gao, X., Zhang, H., Schmidt, A.M. & Zhang, C. 2008. AGE/RAGE produces endothelial dysfunction in coronary arterioles in Type 2 diabetic mice. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 295, H491H498.
  • Garcia-Cohen, E.C., Marin, J., Diez-Picazo, L.D., Baena, A.B., Salaices, M. & Rodriguez-Martinez, M.A. 2000. Oxidative stress induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide causes vasoconstriction in the aorta from hypertensive and aged rats: role of cyclooxygenase-2 isoform. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 293, 7581.
  • Ge, T., Hughes, H., Junquero, D.C., Wu, K.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1995. Endothelium-dependent contractions are associated with both augmented expression of prostaglandin H synthase-1 and hypersensitivity to prostaglandin H2 in the SHR aorta. Circ Res 76, 10031010.
  • Ge, T., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Boulanger, C. 1999. Increased response to prostaglandin H2 precedes changes in PGH synthase-1 expression in the SHR aorta. Acta Pharmacol Sin 20, 10871092.
  • Gertz, K., Priller, J., Kronenberg, G., Fink, K.B., Winter, B., Schröck, H., Ji, S., Milosevic, M., Harms, C., Böhm, M., Dimagl, U., Laufs, U. & Endres, M. 2006. Physical activity improves long-term stroke outcome via endothelial nitric oxide synthase-dependent augmentation of neovascularization and cerebral blood flow. Circ Res 99, 11321140.
  • Gill, R.M., Braz, J.C., Jin, N., Etgen, G.J. & Shen, W. 2007. Restoration of impaired endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation in failing heart: role of eNOS phosphorylation and CGMP/cGK-I signaling. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292, H2782H2790.
  • Gisclard, V., Miller, V.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988. Effect of 17 beta-estradiol on endothelium-dependent responses in the rabbit. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 244, 1922.
  • Gluais, P., Lonchampt, M., Morrow, J.D., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Feletou, M. 2005. Acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent contractions in the SHR aorta: the Janus face of prostacyclin. Br J Pharmacol 146, 834845.
  • Gluais, P., Paysant, J., Badier-Commander, C., Verbeuren, T., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Félétou, M. 2006. In SHR aorta, calcium ionophore A-23187 releases prostacyclin and thromboxane A2 as endothelium-derived contracting factors. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291, H2255H2564.
  • Gluais, P., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Feletou, M. 2007. Mechanisms underlying ATP-induced endothelium-dependent contractions in the SHR aorta. Eur J Pharmacol 556, 107114.
  • Goel, A., Zhang, Y., Anderson, L. & Rahimian, R. 2007. Gender difference in rat aorta vasodilation after acute exposure to high glucose: Involvement of protein kinase C β and superoxide but not of Rho kinase. Cardiovasc Res 76, 351360.
  • Gollasch, M. 2002. Endothelium-derived contracting factor: a new way of looking at endothelial function in obesity. J Hypertension 20, 21472149.
  • Graier, W.F., Posch, K., Fleischhacker, E., Wascher, T.C. & Kostner, G.M. 1999. Increased superoxide anion formation in endothelial cells during hyperglycemia: an adaptive response or initial step of vascular dysfunction? Diabetes Res Clin Pract 45, 153160.
  • Grassi, D., Necozione, S., Lippi, C., Croce, G., Valeri, L., Pasqualetti, P., Desideri, G., Blumberg, J.B. & Ferri, C. 2005. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension 46, 398405.
  • Grisk, O. 2007. Apelin and vascular dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. Cardiovasc Res 74, 339340.
  • Gryglewski, R.J., Palmer, R.M.J. & Moncada, S. 1986. Superoxide anion is involved in the breakdown of endothelium-derived vascular relaxing factor. Nature 320, 454456.
  • Guns, P.J., Assche, T.V., Verreth, W., Fransen, P., Mackness, B., Mackness, M., Holvoet, P. & Bult, H. 2008. Paraoxonase 1 gene transfer lowers vascular oxidative stress and improves vasomotor function in apolipoprotein e-deficient mice with pre-existing atherosclerosis. Br J Pharmacol 153, 508516.
  • Guzik, T.J., Mussa, S., Gastaldi, D., Sadowski, J., Ratnatunga, C., Pillai, R. & Channon, K.M. 2002. Mechanisms of increased vascular superoxide production in human diabetes mellitus: role of NAD(P)H oxidase and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Circulation 105, 16561662.
  • Halcox, J.P.J., Schenke, W.H., Zalos, G., Mincemoyer, R., Prasad, A., Waclawiw, M.A., Nour, K.R.A. & Quyyumi, A.A. 2002. Prognostic value of coronary vascular endothelial dysfunction. Circulation 106, 653658.
  • Hambrecht, R., Adams, V., Erbs, S., Linke, A., Kränkel, N., Shu, Y., Baither, Y., Gielen, S., Thiele, H., Gummert, J.F., Mohr, F.W. & Schuler, G. 2003. Regular physical activity improves endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease by increasing phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Circulation 107, 31523158.
  • Han, G., Ma, H., Chintala, R., Miyake, K., Fulton, D.J.R., Barman, S.A. & White, R.E. 2007. Nongenomic, endothelium-independent effects of estrogen on human coronary smooth muscle are mediated by type I (neuronal) NOS and PI3-kinase-Akt signaling. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H314H321.
  • Hanratty, C.G., McGrath, L.T., McAuley, D.F., Young, I.S. & Johnston, G.D. 2001. The effects of oral methionine and homocysteine on endothelial function. Heart 85, 326330.
  • Hansson, G.K. 2005. Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 352, 16851695.
  • Hashikabe, Y., Suzuki, K., Jojima, T., Uchida, K. & Hattori, Y. 2006. Aldosterone impairs vascular endothelial cell function. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 47, 609613.
  • Hattori, Y., Suzuki, M., Hattori, S. & Kasai, K. 2003. Globular adiponectin upregulates nitric oxide production in vascular endothelial cells. Diabetologia 46, 15431549.
  • Heeba, G., Hassan, M.K.A., Khalifa, M. & Malinski, T. 2007. Adverse balance of nitric oxide/peroxynitrite in the dysfunctional endothelium can be reversed by statins. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 50, 391398.
  • Heiss, C., Amabile, N., Lee, A.C., Real, W.M., Schick, S.F., Lao, D., Wong, M.L., Jahn, S., Angeli, F.S., Minasi, P. et al. 2008. Brief secondhand smoke exposure depresses endothelial progenitor cells activity and endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol 51, 17601771.
  • Herrmann, J., Saguner, A.M., Versari, D., Peterson, T.E., Chade, A., Olson, M., Lerman, L.O. & Lerman, A. 2007. Chronic proteasome inhibition contributes to coronary atherosclerosis. Circ Res 101, 865874.
  • Heymes, C., Habib, A., Yang, D., Mathieu, E., Marotte, F., Samuel, J.L. & Boulanger, C.M. 2000. Cyclo-oxygenase-1 and -2 contribution to endothelial dysfunction in ageing. Br J Pharmacol 131, 804810.
  • Hibbert, B., Olsen, S. & O’Brien, E. 2003. Involvement of progenitor cells in vascular repair. Trends Cardiovasc Med 13, 322326.
  • Hirao, A., Kondo, K., Takeuchi, K., Inui, N. & Umemura, K. 2008. Cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstricting factor(s) in remodeled rat femoral arteries. Cardiovasc Res 79, 161168.
  • Hodgson, J.M. & Marshall, J.J. 1989. Direct vasoconstriction and endothelium-dependent vasodilation: mechanisms of acetylcholine effects on coronary flow and arterial diameter in patients with nonstenotic coronary arteries. Circulation 79, 10431051.
  • Holowatz, L.A. & Kenney, W.L. 2007. Local ascorbate administration augments NO- and non-NO-dependent reflex cutaneous vasodilation in hypertensive humans. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H1090H1096.
  • Hongo, K., Nakagomi, T., Kassell, N.F., Sasaki, T., Lehman, M., Vollmer, D.G., Tsukahara, T., Ogawa, H. & Torner, J. 1988. Effects of aging and hypertension on endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in rat carotid artery. Stroke 19, 892897.
  • Hoo, R.L.C., Yeung, D.C.Y., Lam, K.S.L. & Xu, A. 2008. Inflammatory biomarkers associated with obesity and insulin resistance: a focus on lipocalin-2 and adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab 3, 2941.
  • Houston, D.S., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1985. Adenine nucleotides, serotonin, and endothelium-dependent relaxations to platelets. Am J Physiol 248, H389H395.
  • Houston, D.S., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1986. Aggregating human platelets cause direct contraction and endothelium-dependent relaxation of isolated canine coronary arteries. Role of serotonin, thromboxane A2, and adenine nucleotides. J Clin Invest 78, 539544.
  • Hristovska, A., Rasmussen, L.E., Hansen, P.B.L., Nielsen, S.S., Nüsing, R.M., Narumiya, S., Vanhoutte, P., Skøt, O. & Jensen, B.L. 2007. Prostaglandin E2 induces vascular relaxation by E-prostanoid 4 receptor-mediated activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Hypertension 50, 525530.
  • Husain, S., Andrews, N.P., Mulcahy, D., Panza, J.A. & Quyyumi, A.A. 1998. Aspirin improves endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis. Circulation 97, 716720.
  • Hutri-Kahonen, N., Kahonen, M., Tolvanen, J.P., Wu, X., Sallinen, K. & Porsti, I. 1997. Ramipril therapy improves arterial dilation in experimental hypertension. Cardiovasc Res 33, 188195.
  • Iellamo, F., Tesauro, M., Rizza, S., Aquilani, S., Cardillo, C., Iantorno, M., Turriziani, M. & Lauro, R. 2006. Concomitant impairment in endothelial function and neural cardiovascular regulation in offspring of type 2 diabetic subjects. Hypertension 48, 418423.
  • Ignarro, L.J., Harbison, R.G., Wood, K.S. & Kadowitz, P.J. 1986. Activation of purified soluble guanylate cyclase by endothelium-derived relaxing factor from intrapulmonary artery and vein: stimulation by acetylcholine, bradykinin and arachidonic acid. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 237, 893900.
  • Ignarro, L.J., Byrns, R.E. & Wood, K.S. 1988a. Biochemical and pharmacological properties of endothelium-derived relaxing factor and its similarity to nitric oxide radical. In: P.M.Vanhoutte (ed.) Vasodilatation: Vascular Smooth Muscle, Peptides, Autonomic Nerves and Endothelium, pp. 427436. Raven Press, New York.
  • Ignarro, L.J., Byrns, R.E., Buga, G.M., Chaudhuri, G. & Wood, K.S. 1988b. Pharmacological evidence that endothelium-derived relaxing factor is nitric oxide: use of pyrogallol an superoxide dismutase to study endothelium-dependent and nitrix oxide-elicited vascular smooth muscle relaxation. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 244, 181189.
  • Ijzerman, R.G., De Jongh, R.T., Beijk, M.A.M., Van Weissenbruch, M.M., Delemarre-van de Waal, H.A., Serné, E.H. & Stehouwer, C.D.A. 2003. Individuals at increased coronary heart disease risk are characterized by an impaired microvascular function in skin. Eur J Clin Invest 33, 536542.
  • Ikeda, Y., Ohashi, K., Shibata, R., Pimentel, D.R., Kihara, S., Ouchi, N. & Walsh, K. 2008. Cyclooxygenase-2 induction by adiponectin is regulated by a sphingosine kinase-1 dependent mechanism in cardiac myocytes. FEBS Lett 582, 11471150.
  • Indik, J.H., Goldman, S. & Gaballa, M.A. 2001. Oxidative stress contributes to vascular endothelial dysfunction in heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 281, H1767H1770.
  • Inkster, M.E., Cotter, M.A. & Cameron, N.E. 2002. Effects of trientine, a metal chelator, on defective endothelium-dependent relaxation in the mesenteric vasculature of diabetic rats. Free Radic Res 36, 10911099.
  • Inoue, T. & Node, K. 2007. Statin therapy for vascular failure. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 21, 281295.
  • Iqbal, A. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988. Flunarizine inhibits endothelium-dependent hypoxic facilitation in canine coronary arteries through an action on vascular smooth muscle. Br J Pharmacol 95, 789794.
  • Ito, T., Kato, T., Iwama, Y., Muramatsu, M., Shimizu, K., Asano, H., Okumura, K., Hashimoto, H. & Satake, T. 1991. Prostaglandin H2 as an endothelium-derived contracting factor and its interaction with nitric oxide. J Hypertens 9, 729736.
  • Iwama, Y., Kato, T., Muramatsu, M., Asano, H., Shimizu, K., Toki, Y., Miyazaki, Y., Okumura, K., Hashimoto, H. & Ito, T. 1992. Correlation with blood pressure of the acetylcholine-induced endothelium-derived contracting factor in the rat aorta. Hypertension 19, 326332.
  • Iwatani, Y., Kosugi, K., Isobe-Oku, S., Atagi, S., Kitamura, Y. & Kawasaki, H. 2008. Endothelium removal augments endothelium-independent vasodilatation in rat mesenteric vascular bed. Br J Pharmacol 154, 3240.
  • Jankowski, V., Tolle, M., Vanholder, R., Schonfelder, G., Van Der Giet, M., Henning, L., Schluter, H., Paul, M., Zidek, W. & Jankowski, J. 2005. Uridine adenosine tetraphosphate: a novel endothelium- derived vasoconstrictive factor. Nat Med 11, 223227.
  • Kagota, S., Tada, Y., Kubota, Y., Nejime, N., Yamaguchi, Y., Nakamura, K., Kunitomo, M. & Shinozuka, K. 2007. Peroxynitrite is involved in the dysfunction of vasorelaxation in SHR/NDmcr-cp rats, spontaneously hypertensive obese rats. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 50, 677685.
  • Kähönen, M., Tolvanen, J., Sallinen, K., Wu, X. & Porsti, I. 1998. Influence of gender on control of arterial tone in experimental hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 44, H15H22.
  • Kaiser, L., Spickard, R.C. & Olivier, N.B. 1989. Heart failure depresses endothelium-dependent responses in canine femoral artery. Am J Physiol 256, H962H967.
  • Kajiya, M., Hirota, M., Inai, Y., Kiyooka, T., Morimoto, T., Iwasaki, T., Endo, K., Mohri, S., Shimizu, J., Yada, T., Ogasawara, Y., Naruse, K., Ohe, T. & Kajiya, F. 2007. Impaired NO-mediated vasodilation with increased superoxide but robust EDHF function in right ventricular arterial microvessels of pulmonary hypertensive rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292, H2737H2744.
  • Kanani, P.M., Sinkey, C.A., Browning, R.L., Allaman, M., Knapp, H.R. & Haynes, W.G. 1999. Role of oxidant stress in endothelial dysfunction produced by experimental hyperhomocyst(e)inemia in humans. Circulation 100, 11611168.
  • Karagiannis, J., Reid, J.J., Darby, I., Roche, P., Rand, M.J. & Li, C.G. 2003. Impaired nitric oxide function in the basilar artery of the obese zucker rat. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 42, 497505.
  • Kato, T., Iwama, Y., Okumura, K., Hashimoto, H., Ito, T. & Satake, T. 1990. Prostaglandin H2 may be the endothelium-derived contracting factor released by acetylcholine in the aorta of the rat. Hypertension 15, 475481.
  • Katusic, Z.S. 1996. Superoxide anion and endothelial regulation of arterial tone. Free Radic Biol Med 20, 443448.
  • Katusic, Z.S. 2007. Mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction induced by aging: role of arginase I. Circ Res 101, 640641.
  • Katusic, Z.S. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989. Superoxide anion is an endothelium-derived contracting factor. Am J Physiol 257, H33H37.
  • Katusic, Z.S., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1987. Endothelium-dependent contraction to stretch in canine basilar arteries. Am J Physiol 252, H671H673.
  • Katusic, Z.S., Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988. Endothelium-dependent contractions to calcium ionophore A23187, arachidonic acid and acetylcholine in canine basilar arteries. Stroke 19, 476479.
  • Katz, S.D., Biasucci, L., Sabba, C., Strom, J.A., Jondeau, G., Galvao, M., Solomon, S., Nikolic, S.D., Forman, R. & LeJemtel, T.H. 1992. Impaired endothelium-mediated vasodilation in the peripheral vasculature of patients with congestive heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol 19, 918925.
  • Kaul, S., Coin, B., Hedayiti, A., Yano, J., Cercek, B., Chyu, K.Y. & Shah, P.K. 2004. Rapid reversal of endothelial dysfunction in hypercholesterolemic apolipoprotein E-Null mice by recombinant apolipoprotein A-I Milano-phospholipid complex. J Am Coll Cardiol 44, 13111319.
  • Kauser, K. & Rubanyi, G.M. 1995. Gender difference in endothelial dysfunction in the aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Hypertension 25, 517523.
  • Kennedy, S., Fournet-Bourguignon, M.P., Breugnot, C., Castedo-Delrieu, M., Lesage, L., Reure, H., Briant, C., Leonce, S., Vilaine, J.P. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2003. Cells derived from regenerated endothelium of the porcine coronary artery contain more oxidized forms of apolipoprotein-B-100 without a modification in the uptake of oxidized LDL. J Vasc Res 40, 389398.
  • Keung, W., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Man, R.Y.K. 2005. Non-genomic responses to 17β-estradiol in male rat mesenteric arteries abolish intrinsic gender differences in vascular responses. Br J Pharmacol 146, 11481155.
  • Kim, S.H., Park, K.W., Kim, Y.S., Oh, S., Chae, I.H., Kim, H.S. & Kim, C.H. 2003. Effects of acute hyperglycemia on endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose metabolism. Endothelium 10, 6570.
  • Kim, J., Montagnani, M., Koh, K.K. & Quon, M.J. 2006. Reciprocal relationships between insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction: molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms. Circulation 113, 18881904.
  • Kirkby, N.S., Hadoke, P.W.F., Bagnall, A.J. & Webb, D.J. 2008. The endothelin system as a therapeutic target in cardiovascular disease: great expectations or bleak house? Br J Pharmacol 153, 11051119.
  • Klöß, S., Bouloumié, A. & Mülsch, A. 2000. Aging and chronic hypertension decrease expression of rat aortic soluble guanylyl cyclase. Hypertension 35, 4347.
  • Knight, S.F., Quigley, J.E., Yuan, J., Roy, S.S., Elmarakby, A. & Imig, J.D. 2008. Endothelial dysfunction and the development of renal injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats fed a high-fat diet. Hypertension 51, 352359.
  • Koga, T., Takata, Y., Kobayashi, K., Takishita, S., Yamashita, Y. & Fujishima, M. 1988. Ageing suppresses endothelium-dependent relaxation and generates contraction mediated by the muscarinic receptors in vascular smooth muscle of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Hypertension 6, S243S245.
  • Koga, T., Takata, Y., Kobayashi, K., Takishita, S., Yamashita, Y. & Fujishima, M. 1989. Age and hypertension promote endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine in the aorta of the rat. Hypertension 14, 542548.
  • Kojda, G. & Harrison, D. 1999. Interactions between NO and reactive oxygen species: pathophysiological importance in atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and heart failure. Cardiovasc Res 43, 562571.
  • Kubo, S.H., Rector, T.S., Bank, A.J., Williams, R.E. & Heifetz, S.M. 1991. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is attenuated in patients with heart failure. Circulation 84, 15891596.
  • Kung, C.F. & Lüscher, T.F. 1995. Different mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction with aging and hypertension in rat aorta. Hypertension 25, 194200.
  • Kuriyama, S., Shimazu, T., Ohmori, K., Kikuchi, N., Nakaya, N., Nishino, Y., Tsubono, Y. & Tsuji, I. 2006. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan. The Ohsaki Study. JAMA 296, 12551265.
  • Kuvin, J.T. & Karas, R.H. 2003. Clinical utility of endothelial function testing – ready for prime time? Circulation 107, 32433247.
  • Lamping, K. 2007. Endothelial progenitor cells: sowing the seeds for vascular repair. Circ Res 100, 12431245.
  • Landmesser, U. & Drexler, H. 2007. Endothelial function and hypertension. Curr Opin Cardiol 22, 316320.
  • Landmesser, U., Spiekermann, S., Dikalov, S., Tatge, H., Wilke, R., Kohler, C., Harrison, D.G., Hornig, B. & Drexler, H. 2002. Vascular oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction in patients with chronic heart failure: role of xanthine-oxidase and extracellular superoxide dismutase. Circulation 106, 30733078.
  • Landmesser, U., Bahlmann, F., Mueller, M., Spiekermann, S., Kirchhoff, N., Schulz, S., Manes, C., Fischer, D., De Groot, K., Fliser, D., Fauler, G., März, W. & Drexler, H. 2005. Simvastatin versus ezetimibe: pleiotropic and lipid-lowering effects on endothelial function in humans. Circulation 111, 23562363.
  • Lang, D., Kredan, M.B., Moat, S.J., Hussain, S.A., Powell, C.A., Bellamy, M.F., Powers, H.J. & Lewis, M.J. 2000. Homocysteine-induced inhibition of endothelium-dependent relaxation in rabbit aorta: role for superoxide anions. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 20, 422427.
  • Lang, N.N., Guomundsdóttir, I.J., Boon, N.A., Ludlam, C.A., Fox, K.A. & Newby, D.E. 2008. Marked impairment of protease-activated receptor type 1-mediated vasodilation and fibrinolysis in cigarette smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol 52, 3339.
  • Lauer, N., Suvorava, T., Rüther, U., Jacob, R., Meyer, W., Harrison, D.G. & Kojda, G. 2005. Critical involvement of hydrogen peroxide in exercise-induced up-regulation of endothelial NO synthase. Cardiovasc Res 65, 254262.
  • Lavi, S., Yang, E.H., Prasad, A., Mathew, V., Barsness, G.W., Rihal, C.S., Lerman, L.O. & Lerman, A. 2008. The interaction between coronary endothelial dysfunction, local oxidative stress, and endogenous nitric oxide in humans. Hypertension 51, 127133.
  • Lee, M.Y.K. & Man, R.Y.K. 2003. The phytoestrogen genistein enhances endothelium-independent relaxation in the porcine coronary artery. Eur J Pharmacol 481, 227232.
  • Lee, M.Y.K., Tse, H.F., Siu, C.W., Zhu, S.G., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007. Genomic changes in regenerated porcine coronary arterial endothelial cells. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 27, 24432449.
  • Lefèvre, J., Michaud, S.É., Haddad, P., Dussault, S., Ménard, C., Groleau, J., Turgeon, J. & Rivard, A. 2007. Moderate consumption of red wine (cabernet sauvignon) improves ischemia-induced neovascularization in ApoE-deficient mice: effect on endothelial progenitor cells and nitric oxide. FASEB J 21, 19.
  • Leikert, J.F., Räthel, T.R., Wohlfart, P., Cheynier, V., Vollmar, A.M. & Dirsch, V.M. 2002. Red wine polyphenols enhance endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and subsequent nitric oxide release from endothelial cells. Circulation 106, 16141617.
  • Lembo, G., Iaccarino, G., Vecchione, C., Barbato, E., Izzo, R., Fontana, D. & Trimarco, B. 1997. Insulin modulation of an endothelial nitric oxide component present in the α2- and β-adrenergic responses in human forearm. J Clin Invest 100, 20072014.
  • Lesniewski, L.A., Donato, A.J., Behnke, B.J., Woodman, C.R., Laughlin, M.H., Ray, C.A. & Delp, M.D. 2008. Decreased NO signaling leads to enhanced vasoconstrictor responsiveness in skeletal muscle arterioles of the ZDF rat prior to overt diabetes and hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H1840H1850.
  • Leung, F.P., Yung, L.M., Leung, H.S., Au, C.L., Yao, X., Vanhoutte, P.M., Laher, I. & Huang, Y. 2007. Therapeutic concentrations of raloxifene augment nitric oxide-dependent coronary artery dilatation in vitro. Br J Pharmacol 152, 223229.
  • Levine, Y.C., Li, G.K. & Michel, T. 2007. Agonist-modulated regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in endothelial cells. J Biol Chem 282, 2035120364.
  • Levy, J.V. 1980. Prostacyclin-induced contraction of isolated aortic strips from normal and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Prostaglandins 19, 517520.
  • Li, D. & Mehta, J.L. 2005. Oxidized LDL, a critical factor in atherogenesis. Cardiovasc Res 68, 353354.
  • Li, H., Wallerath, T. & Förstermann, U. 2002a. Physiological mechanisms regulating the expression of endothelial-type NO synthase. Nitric Oxide 7, 132147.
  • Li, H., Wallerath, T., Münzel, T. & Förstermann, U. 2002b. Regulation of endothelial-type NO synthase expression in pathophysiology and in response to drugs. Nitric Oxide 7, 149164.
  • Li, F., Wood, C.E. & Keller-Wood, M. 2007a. Adrenalectomy alters regulation of blood pressure and endothelial nitric oxide synthase in sheep: modulation by estradiol. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 293, R257R266.
  • Li, R., Wang, W.Q., Zhang, H., Yang, X., Fan, Q., Christopher, T.A., Lopez, B.L., Tao, L., Goldstein, B.J., Gao, F. & Ma, X.L. 2007b. Adiponectin improves endothelial function in hyperlipidemic rats by reducing oxidative/nitrative stress and differential regulation of eNOS/iNOS activity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293, E1703E1708.
  • Lida, S., Chu, Y., Francis, J. & Weiss, R.M. 2005. Gene transfer of extracellular superoxide dismutase improves endothelial function in rats with heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 289, H525H532.
  • Lin, K.Y., Ito, A., Asagami, T., Tsao, P.S., Adimoolam, S., Kimoto, M., Tsuji, H., Reaven, G.M. & Cooke, J.P. 2002. Impaired nitric oxide synthase pathway in diabetes mellitus: role of asymmetric dimethylarginine and dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase. Circulation 106, 987992.
  • Liu, Y., You, Y., Song, T., Wu, S. & Liu, L. 2007. Impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxation of rat aortas by homocysteine thiolactone and attenuation by captopril. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 50, 155161.
  • Lockette, W., Otsuka, Y. & Carretero, O. 1986. The loss of endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in hypertension. Hypertension 8, II61II66.
  • Looft-Wilson, R.C., Ashley, B.S., Billig, J.E., Wolfert, M.R., Ambrecht, L.A. & Bearden, S.E. 2008. Chronic diet-induced hyperhomocysteinemia impairs eNOS regulation in mouse mesenteric arteries. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 295, R59R66.
  • Lopez-Sepulveda, R., Jiménez, R., Romero, M., Zarzuelo, M.J., Sánchez, M., Gómez-Guzmán, M., Vargas, F., O’Valle, F., Zarzuelo, A., Pérez-Vizcaíno, F. & Duarte, J. 2008. Wine polyphenols improve endothelial function in large vessels of female spontaneously hypertensive rats. Hypertension 51, 10881095.
  • Lu, T., Wang, X.L., He, T., Zhou, W., Kaduce, T.L., Katusic, Z.S., Spector, A.A. & Lee, H.C. 2005. Impaired arachidonic acid-mediated activation of large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels in coronary arterial smooth muscle cells in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Diabetes 54, 21552163.
  • Ludmer, P.L., Selwyn, A.P., Shook, T.L., Wayne, R.R., Mudge, G.H., Alexander, R.W. & Ganz, P. 1986. Paradoxical vasoconstriction induced by acetylcholine in atherosclerotic coronary arteries. N Engl J Med 315, 10461051.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Tanner, F.C., Tschudi, M.R. & Noll, G. 1993. Endothelial dysfunction in coronary artery disease. Annu Rev Med 44, 395418.
  • Lüscher, T.F. & Steffel, J. 2008. Sweet and sour: unraveling diabetic vascular disease. Circ Res 102, 911.
  • Lüscher, T.F. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1986. Endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine in the aorta of the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Hypertension 8, 344348.
  • Lüscher, T.F. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1990. The Endothelium: Modulator of Cardiovascular Function, pp. 1228. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Dohi, Y. & Tschudi, M. 1992. Endothelium-dependent regulation of resistance arteries: alterations with aging and hypertension. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 19, S34S42.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Raij, L. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1987a. Endothelium-dependent vascular responses in normotensive and hypertensive Dahl-rats. Hypertension 9, 157163.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Raij, L. 1987b. Antihypertensive treatment normalizes decreased endothelium-dependent relaxations in salt-induced hypertension of the rat. Hypertension 9, III-193III-197.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Cooke, J.P., Houston, D.S., Neves, R.J. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1987c. Endothelium-dependent relaxation in human arteries. Mayo Clin Proc 62, 601606.
  • Lüscher, T.F., Romero, J.C. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1987d. Bioassay of endothelium-derived vasoactive substances in the aorta of normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Hypertens 4, S81S83.
  • Luz, P.L. & Coimbra, S.R. 2004. Wine, alcohol and atherosclerosis: clinical evidences and mechanisms. Braz J Med Biol Res 37, 12751295.
  • Lyons, D. 1997. Impairment and restoration of nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation in cardiovascular disease. Int J Cardiol 62, S101S109.
  • Macarthur, H., Westfall, T.C. & Wilken, G.H. 2008. Oxidative stress attenuates NO-induced modulation of sympathetic neurotransmission in the mesenteric arterial bed of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H183H189.
  • Machha, A. & Mustafa, M.R. 2005. Chronic treatment with flavonoids prevents endothelial dysfunction in spontaneously hypertensive rat aorta. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 46, 3640.
  • Machha, A., Achike, F.I., Mustafa, A.M. & Mustafa, M.R. 2007. Quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant, modulates endothelium-derived nitric oxide bioavailability in diabetic rat aortas. Nitric Oxide 16, 442447.
  • Maejima, K., Nakano, S., Himeno, M., Tsuda, S., Makiishi, H., Ito, T., Nakagawa, A., Kigoshi, T., Ishibashi, T., Nishio, M. & Uchida, K. 2001. Increased basal levels of plasma nitric oxide in Type 2 diabetic subjects – relationship to microvascular complications. J Diabetes Complications 15, 135143.
  • Malo, O., Carrier, M., Shi, Y.F., Tardif, J., Tanguay, J. & Perrault, L.P. 2003. Specific alterations of endothelial signal transduction pathways of porcine epicardial coronary arteries in left ventricular hypertrophy. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 42, 275286.
  • Mancini, G.B.J. 2004. Editorial comment: vascular structure versus function: Is endothelial dysfunction of independent prognostic importance or not? J Am Coll Cardiol 43, 624628.
  • Marletta, M.A. 1989. Nitric oxide: biosynthesis and biological significance. Trends Biochem Sci 14, 488492.
  • Matoba, T., Shimokawa, H., Nakashima, M., Hirakawa, Y., Mukai, Y., Hirano, K., Kanaide, H. & Takeshita, A. 2000. Hydrogen peroxide is an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor in mice. J Clin Invest 106, 15211530.
  • Matsumoto, T., Kakami, M., Noguchi, E., Kobayashi, T. & Kamata, K. 2007. Imbalance between endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors in mesenteric arteries from aged OLETF rats, a model of Type 2 diabetes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H1480H1490.
  • Mayhan, W.G. 1992. Role of prostaglandin H2-thromboxane A2 in responses of cerebral arterioles during chronic hypertension. Am J Physiol 262, H539H543.
  • Mayhan, W.G. & Patel, K.P. 1998. Treatment with dimethylthiourea prevents impaired dilatation of the basilar artery during diabetes mellitus. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 43, H1895H1901.
  • Meyer, B., Mörtl, D., Strecker, K., Hülsmann, M., Kulemann, V., Neunteufl, T., Pacher, R. & Berger, R. 2005. Flow-mediated vasodilation predicts outcome in patients with chronic heart failure – comparison with B-type natriuretic peptide. J Am Coll Cardiol 46, 10111018.
  • Michaud, S.É., Dussault, S., Groleau, J., Haddad, P. & Rivard, A. 2006. Cigarette smoke exposure impairs VEGF-induced endothelial cell migration: role of NO and reactive oxygen species. J Mol Cell Cardiol 41, 275284.
  • Michel, F.S., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007. Increased spontaneous tone in renal arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, 16731681.
  • Michel, F.S., Man, G.S., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008a. Hypertension and the absence of EDHF-mediated responses favor endothelium-dependent contractions in renal arteries of the rat. Br J Pharmacol 155, 217226.
  • Michel, F., Simonet, S., Vayssettes-Courchay, C., Bertin, F., Sansilvestri-Morel, P., Bernhardt, F., Paysant, J., Silvestre, J.S., Levy, B.I., Félétou, M. & Verbeuren, T.J. 2008b. Altered TP receptor function in isolated, perfused kidneys of nondiabetic and diabetic ApoE-deficient mice. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 294, F120F129.
  • Miller, V.M. & Duckles, S.P. 2008. Vascular actions of estrogens: functional implications. Pharmacol Rev 60, 210241.
  • Miller, V.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1985. Endothelium-dependent contractions to arachidonic acid is mediated by products of cyclooxygenase. Am J Physiol 248, H432H437.
  • Miller, V.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988. Enhanced release of endothelium-derived factors by chronic increases in blood flow. Am J Physiol 255, H446H451.
  • Miller, V.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Progesterone and modulation of endothelium-dependent responses in canine coronary arteries. Am J Physiol 261, R1022R1027.
  • Ming, X.F., Barandier, C., Viswambharan, H., Kwak, B.R., Mach, F., Mazzolai, L., Haoz, D., Ruffieux, J., Rusconi, S., Montani, J.P. & Yang, Z. 2004. Thrombin stimulates human endothelial arginase enzymatic activity via RhoA/ROCK pathway: implications for atherosclerotic endothelial dysfunction. Circulation 110, 37083714.
  • Mitchell, B.M., Dorrance, A.M., Mack, E.A. & Webb, C.R. 2004. Glucocorticoids decrease GTP cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent vasorelaxation through glucocorticoid receptors. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 43, 813.
  • Miyagawa, K., Ohashi, M., Yamashita, S., Kojima, M., Sato, K. & Ueda, R. 2007. Increased oxidative stress impairs endothelial modulation of contractions in arteries from spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Hypertens 25, 415421.
  • Moat, S.J., Madhavan, A., Taylor, S.Y., Payne, N., Allen, R.H., Stabler, S.P., Goodfellow, J., McDowell, I.F.W., Lewis, M.J. & Lang, D. 2006. High- but not low-dose folic acid improves endothelial function in coronary artery disease. Eur J Clin Invest 36, 850859.
  • Mombouli, J.V. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Kinins and endothelium-dependent relaxations to converting enzyme inhibitors in perfused canine arteries. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 18, 926927.
  • Mombouli, J.V. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1993. Purinergic endothelium-dependent and -independent contractions in rat aorta. Hypertension 22, 577583.
  • Mombouli, J.V. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1995. Kinins and vascular endothelium. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 35, 679705.
  • Mombouli, J.V., Nakashima, M., Hamra, M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1996. Endothelium-dependent relaxation and hyperpolarization evoked by bradykinin in canine coronary arteries: enhancement by exercise-training. Br J Pharmacol 117, 413418.
  • Moncada, S. 1997. Nitric oxide in the vasculature: physiology and pathophysiology. Ann N Y Acad Sci 811, 6067.
  • Monobe, H., Yamanari, H., Nakamura, K. & Ohe, T. 2001. Effects of low-dose aspirin on endothelial function in hypertensive patients. Clin Cardiol 24, 705709.
  • Monsalve, E., Oviedo, P.J., García-Pérez, M.A., Tarín, J.J., Cano, A. & Hermenegildo, C. 2007. Estradiol counteracts oxidized LDL-induced asymmetric dimethylarginine production by cultured human endothelial cells. Cardiovasc Res 73, 6672.
  • Montalcini, T., Gorgone, G., Gazzaruso, C., Sesti, G., Perticone, F. & Pujia, A. 2007. Endogenous testosterone and endothelial function in postmenopausal women. Coron Artery Dis 18, 913.
  • Morikawa, K., Shimokawa, H., Matoba, T., Kubota, H., Akaike, T., Talukder, A., Hatanaka, M., Fujiki, T., Maeda, H., Takahashi, S. & Takeshita, A. 2003. Pivotal role of Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase in endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization. J Clin Invest 112, 18711879.
  • Moritoki, H., Hosoki, E. & Ishida, Y. 1986. Age-related decrease in endothelium-dependent dilator response to histamine in rat mesenteric artery. Eur J Pharmacol 126, 6167.
  • Motley, E.D., Eguchi, K., Patterson, M.M., Palmer, P.D., Suzuki, H. & Eguchi, S. 2007. Mechanism of endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and activation by thrombin. Hypertension 49, 577583.
  • Mundy, A.L., Haas, E., Bhattacharya, I., Widmer, C.C., Kretz, M., Hofmann-Lehmann, R., Minotti, R. & Barton, M. 2007. Fat intake modifies vascular responsiveness and receptor expression of vasoconstrictors: implications for diet-induced obesity. Cardiovasc Res 73, 368375.
  • Nagata, D., Takahashi, M., Sawai, K., Tagami, T., Usui, T., Shimatsu, A., Hirata, Y. & Naruse, M. 2006. Molecular mechanism of the inhibitory effect of aldosterone on endothelial NO synthase activity. Hypertension 48, 165171.
  • Nakamura, R., Egashira, K., Arimura, K., Machida, Y., Ide, T., Tsutsui, H., Shimokawa, H. & Takeshita, A. 2001. Increased inactivation of nitric oxide is involved in impaired coronary flow reserve in heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 281, H2619H2625.
  • Nassar, T., Kadery, B., Lotan, C., Da’as, N., Kleinman, Y. & Haj-Yehia, A. 2002. Effects of the superoxide dismutase-mimetic compound tempol on endothelial dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Eur J Pharmacol 436, 111118.
  • Naya, M., Tsukamoto, T., Morita, K., Katoh, C., Furumoto, T., Fujii, S., Tamaki, N. & Tsutsui, H. 2007. Olmesartan, but not amlodipine, improves endothelium-dependent coronary dilation in hypertensive patients. J Am Coll Cardiol 50, 11441149.
  • Nietlispach, F., Julius, B., Schindler, R., Bernheim, A., Binkert, C., Kiowski, W. & Brunner-La Rocca, H.P. 2007. Influence of acute and chronic mineralocorticoid excess on endothelial function in healthy men. Hypertension 50, 8288.
  • Nigris, F., Williams-Ignarro, S., Botti, C., Sica, V., Ignarro, L.J. & Napoli, C. 2006. Pomegranate juice reduces oxidized low-density lipoprotein downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human coronary endothelial cells. Nitric Oxide 15, 259263.
  • Nigris, F., Balestrieri, M.L., Williams-Ignarro, S., D’Armiento, F.P., Fiorito, C., Ignarro, L.J. & Napoli, C. 2007a. The influence of pomegranate fruit extract in comparison to regular pomegranate juice and seed oil on nitric oxide and arterial function in obese Zucker rats. Nitric Oxide 17, 5054.
  • Nigris, F., Williams-Ignarro, S., Sica, V., Lerman, L.O., D’Armiento, F.P., Byrns, R.E., Casamassimi, A., Carpentiero, D., Schiano, C., Sumi, D., Fiorito, C., Ignarro, L.J. & Napoli, C. 2007b. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. Cardiovasc Res 73, 414423.
  • Norel, X. 2007. Prostanoid receptors in the human vascular wall. Scientific WorldJournal 7, 13591374.
  • Numaguchi, Y., Harada, M., Osanai, H., Hayashi, K., Toki, Y., Okumura, K., Ito, T. & Hayakawa, T. 1999. Altered gene expression of prostacyclin synthase and prostacyclin receptor in the thoracic aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Cardiovasc Res 41, 682688.
  • O’Rourke, S.T., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Miller, V.M. 2006. Biology of blood vessels. In: M.A.Creager, V.Dzau & J.Loscalso (eds) Vascular Medicine, A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease, pp. 71100. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Obrosova, I.G., Drel, V.R., Oltman, C.L., Mashtalir, N., Tibrewala, J., Groves, J.T. & Yorek, M.A. 2007. Role of nitrosative stress in early neuropathy and vascular dysfunction in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293, E1645E1655.
  • Okano, H., Jayachandran, M., Yoshikawa, A. & Miller, V.M. 2006. Differential effects of chronic treatment with estrogen receptor ligands on regulation of nitric oxide synthase in porcine aortic endothelial cells. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 47, 621628.
  • Okon, E.B., Golbabaie, A. & Van Breemen, C. 2002. In the presence of l-NAME SERCA blockade endothelium-dependent contraction of mouse aorta through activation of smooth muscle prostaglandin H2/thromboxane A2 receptors. Br J Pharmacol 137, 545553.
  • Ospina, J.A., Duckles, S.P. & Krause, D.N. 2003. 17β-Estradiol decreases vascular tone in cerebral arteries by shifting COX-dependent vasoconstriction to vasodilation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 285, H241H250.
  • Pacher, P. & Szabo, C. 2006. Role of peroxynitrite in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Curr Opin Pharmacol 6, 136141.
  • Palm, F., Onozato, M.L., Luo, Z. & Wilcox, C.S. 2007. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH): expression, regulation, and function in the cardiovascular and renal systems. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H3227H3245.
  • Palmer, R.M.J. & Moncada, S. 1989. A novel citrulline-forming enzyme implicated in the formation of nitric oxide by vascular endothelial cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 158, 348352.
  • Palmer, R.M.J., Ferrige, A.G. & Moncada, S. 1987. Nitrix oxide release accounts for the biological activity of endothelium-derived relaxing factor. Nature 327, 524526.
  • Palmer, R.M.J., Ashton, D.S. & Moncada, S. 1988a. Vascular endothelial cells synthesize nitric oxide from l-arginine. Nature 333, 664666.
  • Palmer, R.M.J., Rees, D.D., Ashton, D.S. & Moncada, S. 1988b. l-Arginine is the physiological precursor for the formation of nitric oxide in endothelium-dependent relaxation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 153, 12511256.
  • Pannirselvam, M., Verma, S., Anderson, T.J. & Triggle, C.R. 2002. Cellular basis of endothelial dysfunction in small mesenteric arteries from spontaneously diabetic (db/db−/−) mice: role of decreased tetrahydrobiopterin bioavailability. Br J Pharmacol 136, 255263.
  • Paulis, L., Zicha, J., Kunes, J., Hojna, S., Behuliak, M., Celec, P., Kojsova, S., Pechanova, O. & Simko, F. 2008. Regression of l-NAME-induced hypertension: the role of nitric oxide and endothelium-derived constricting factor. Hypertens Res 31, 793803.
  • Pearson, P.J. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1993. Vasodilator and vasoconstrictor substances produced by endothelium. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol 122, 167.
  • Pellegrini, M.P., Newby, D.E., Johnston, N.R., Maxwell, S. & Webb, D.J. 2004. Vitamin C has no effect on endothelium-dependent vasomotion and acute endogenous fibrinolysis in healthy smokers. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 44, 117124.
  • Perticone, F., Sciacqua, A., Maio, R., Perticone, M., Maas, R., Boger, R.H., Tripepi, G., Sesti, G. & Zoccali, C. 2005. Asymmetric dimethylarginine, l-arginine, and endothelial dysfunction in essential hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol 46, 518523.
  • Pierce, G.L., Beske, S.D., Lawson, B.R., Southall, K.L., Benay, F.J., Donato, A.J. & Seats, D.R. 2008. Weight loss alone improves conduit and resistance artery endothelial function in young and older overweight/obese adults. Hypertension 52, 7279.
  • Quijano, C., Castro, L., Peluffo, G., Valez, V. & Radi, R. 2007. Enhanced mitochondrial superoxide in hyperglycemic endothelial cells: direct measurements and formation of hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H3404H3414.
  • Radomski, M.W., Palmer, R.M.J. & Moncada, S. 1987. The role of nitric oxide and cGMP in platelet adhesion to vascular endothelium. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 148, 14821489.
  • Rakobowchuk, M., Tanguay, S., Burgomaster, K.A., Howarth, K.R., Gibala, M.J. & MacDonald, M.J. 2008. Sprint interval and traditional endurance training induce similar improvements in peripheral arterial stiffness and flow-mediated dilation in healthy humans. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 295, R236R242.
  • Rapoport, R.M. & Williams, S.P. 1996. Role of prostaglandins in acetylcholine-induced contraction of aorta from spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar-Kyoto rats. Hypertension 28, 6475.
  • Romero, M.J., Platt, D.H., Tawfik, H.E., Labazi, M., El-Remessy, A.B., Bartoli, M., Caldwell, R.B. & Caldwell, R.W. 2008. Diabetes-induced coronary vascular dysfunction involves increased arginase activity. Circ Res 102, 95102.
  • Ross, R. 1999. Atherosclerosis – an inflammatory disease. N Engl J Med 340, 115126.
  • Rossi, R., Nuzzo, A., Origliani, G. & Modena, M.G. 2008. Prognostic role of flow-mediated dilation and cardiac risk factors in post-menopausal women. J Am Coll Cardiol 51, 9971002.
  • Roves, P., Kurz, S., Hanjörg, J. & Drexler, H. 1995. Role of endogenous bradykinin in human coronary vasomotor control. Circulation 92, 34243430.
  • Rubanyi, G.M. & Polokoff, M.A. 1994. Endothelins: molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology. Pharmacol Rev 46, 325415.
  • Rubanyi, G.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1985. Hypoxia releases a vasoconstrictor substance from the canine vascular endothelium. J Physiol 364, 4556.
  • Rubanyi, G.M. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1986. Superoxide anions and hyperoxia inactivate endothelium-derived relaxing factor(s). Am J Physiol 250, H822H827.
  • Rubanyi, G.M., Lorenz, R.R. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1985. Bioassay of endothelium-derived relaxing factor(s). Inactivation by catecholamines. Am J Physiol 249, H95H101.
  • Rubanyi, G.M., Romero, J.C. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1986. Flow-induced release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor. Am J Physiol 250, H1145H1149.
  • Ryoo, S., Lemmon, C.A., Soucy, K.G., Gupta, G., White, A.R., Nyhan, D., Shoukas, A., Romer, L.H. & Berkowitz, D.E. 2006. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein-dependent endothelial arginase II activation contributes to impaired nitric oxide signaling. Circ Res 99, 951960.
  • Ryoo, S., Gupta, G., Benjo, A., Lim, H.K., Camara, A., Sikka, G., Lim, H.K., Sohi, J., Santhanam, L., Soucy, K. et al. 2008. Endothelial arginase II: a novel target for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Circ Res 102, 923932.
  • Saifeddine, M., Roy, S.S., Al-ani, B., Triggle, C.R. & Hollengerg, M.D. 1998. Endothelium-dependent contractile actions of proteinase-activated receptor-2-activating peptides in human umbilical vein: release of a contracting factor via a novel receptor. Br J Pharmacol 125, 14451454.
  • Santhanam, L., Lim, H.K., Lim, H.K., Miriel, V., Brown, T., Patel, M., Balanson, S., Ryoo, S., Anderson, M., Irani, K. et al. 2007. Inducible NO synthase-dependent S-nitrosylation and activation of arginase1 contribute to age-related endothelial dysfunction. Circ Res 101, 692702.
  • Santos, R.L., Abreu, G.R., Bissoli, N.S. & Moysés, M.R. 2004. Endothelial mediators of 17β-estradiol-induced coronary vasodilation in the isolated rat heart. Braz J Med Biol Res 37, 569575.
  • Sarr, M., Chataigneau, M., Martnis, S., Schott, C., El Bedoui, J., Oak, M.H., Muller, B., Chataigneau, T. & Schini-Kerth, V.B. 2006. Red wine polyphenols prevent angiotensin II-induced hypertension and endothelial dysfunction in rats: role of NADPH oxidase. Cardiovasc Res 71, 794802.
  • Sartorio, C.L., Fraccarollo, D., Galuppo, P., Leutke, M., Ertl, G., Stefanon, I. & Bauersachs, J. 2007. Mineralocorticoid receptor blockade improves vasomotor dysfunction and vascular oxidative stress early after myocardial infarction. Hypertension 50, 919925.
  • Sata, M. 2003. Circulating vascular progenitor cells contribute to vascular repair, remodeling, and lesion formation. Trends Cardiovasc Med 13, 249253.
  • Sbarouni, E., Flevari, P., Kroupis, C., Kyriakides, Z.S., Koniavitou, K. & Th. Kremastinos, D. 2003. The effects of raloxifene and simvastatin on plasma lipids and endothelium. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 17, 319323.
  • Von Schacky, C. & Harris, W.S. 2007. Cardiovascular benefits of omega-2 fatty acids. Cardiovasc Res 73, 310315.
  • Schäfer, A., Fraccarollo, D., Pförtsch, S., Flierl, U., Vogt, C., Pfrang, J., Kobsar, A., Renné, T., Eigenthaler, M., Ertl, G. & Bauersachs, J. 2008. Improvement of vascular function by acute and chronic treatment with the PDE-5 inhibitor sildenafil in experimental diabetes mellitus. Br J Pharmacol 153, 886893.
  • Schini, V.B. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991a. l-Arginine evokes relaxations of the rat aorta in both the presence and absence of endothelial cells. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 17, S10S14.
  • Schini, V.B. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991b. l-Arginine evokes both endothelium-dependent and independent relaxations in l-arginine-depleted aortas of the rat. Circ Res 68, 209216.
  • Schini, V.B. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991c. Endothelin-1: a potent vasoactive peptide. Pharmacol Toxicol 69, 17.
  • Schini-Kerth, V.B. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1995. Nitric oxide synthases in vascular cells. Exp Physiol 80, 885905.
  • Schroeter, H., Heiss, C., Balzer, J., Kleinbongard, P., Keen, C.L., Hollenberg, N.K., Sies, H., Kwik-Uribe, C., Schmitz, H.H. & Kelm, M. 2006. (−)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103, 10241029.
  • Scott, P.A., Tremblay, A., Brochu, M. & St. Louis, J. 2007. Vasorelaxant action of 17β-estradiol in rat uterine arteries: role of nitric oxide synthases and estrogen receptors. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H3713H3719.
  • Sekikawa, A., Curb, D., Ueshima, H., El-Saed, A., Kadowaki, T., Abbott, R.D., Evans, R.W., Rodriguez, B.L., Okamura, T., Sutton-Tyrrell, K. et al. 2008. Marine-derived n-3 fatty acids and atherosclerosis in Japanese, Japanese-American, and white men. J Am Coll Cardiol 52, 417424.
  • Sena, C.M., Nunes, E., Louro, T., Proenca, T., Fernandes, R., Boarder, M.R. & Seica, R.M. 2008. Effects of α-lipoic acid on endothelial function in aged diabetic and high-fat fed rats. Br J Pharmacol 153, 894906.
  • Shepherd, J.T. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Endothelium-derived (EDRF) and contracting factors (EDCF) in the control of cardiovascular homeostasis: the pioneering observations. In: G.M.Rubanyi (ed.) Cardiovascular Significance of Endothelium-Derived Vasoactive Factors, pp. 3964. Futura Publishing Co, Mount Kisco, NY.
  • Shi, Y. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. Oxidative stress and COX cause hyper-responsiveness in vascular smooth muscle of the femoral artery from diabetic rats. Br J Pharmacol 154, 639651.
  • Shi, Y., Ku, D.D., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2006. Augmented endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor-mediated relaxations attenuate endothelial dysfunction in femoral and mesenteric, but not in carotid arteries from type I diabetic rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 318, 276281.
  • Shi, Y., Feletou, M., Ku, D.D., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007a. The calcium ionophore A23187 induces endothelium-dependent contractions in femoral arteries from rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Br J Pharmacol 150, 624632.
  • Shi, Y., So, K.F., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007b. Oxygen-derived free radicals mediate endothelium-dependent contractions in femoral arteries of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Br J Pharmacol 152, 10331041.
  • Shi, Y., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. Two isoforms of cyclooxygenase contribute to augmented endothelium-dependent contractions in femoral arteries of one-year old rats. Acta Pharmacol Sin 29, 185192.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Matoba, T. 2004. Hydrogen peroxide as an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor. Pharmacol Res 49, 543549.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989a. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids and endothelium-dependent relaxations in porcine coronary arteries. Am J Physiol 256, H968H973.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989b. Hypercholesterolemia causes generalized impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxation to aggregating platelets in porcine arteries. J Am Coll Cardiol 13, 14021408.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989c. Impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation to aggregating platelets and related vasoactive substances in porcine coronary arteries in hypercholesterolemia and in atherosclerosis. Circ Res 64, 900914.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Angiographic demonstration of hyperconstriction induced by serotonin and aggregating platelets in porcine coronary arteries with regenerated endothelium. J Am Coll Cardiol 17, 11971202.
  • Shimokawa, H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1997. Endothelium and vascular injury in hypertension and atherosclerosis, Chapter 17. In: A.Zanchetti & G.Mancia (eds) Handbook of Hypertension, Pathophysiology and Hypertension, pp. 10071068. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • Shimokawa, H., Lam, J.Y., Chesebro, J.H., Bowie, E.J. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1987. Effects of dietary supplementation with cod-liver oil on endothelium-dependent responses in porcine coronary arteries. Circulation 76, 898905.
  • Shimokawa, H., Aarhus, L.L. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988a. Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment endothelium-dependent relaxation to bradykinin in porcine coronary microvessels. Br J Pharmacol 95, 11911196.
  • Shimokawa, H., Kim, P. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988b. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to aggregating platelets in isolated basilar arteries of control and hypercholesterolemic pigs. Circ Res 63, 604612.
  • Shimokawa, H., Flavahan, N.A. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1989. Natural course of the impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations after balloon endothelium removal in porcine coronary arteries. Possible dysfunction of a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein. Circ Res 65, 740753.
  • Shimokawa, H., Flavahan, N.A. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Loss of endothelial pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein function in atherosclerotic porcine coronary arteries. Circulation 83, 652660.
  • Shirahase, H., Usui, H., Kurahashi, K., Fujiwara, M. & Fukui, K. 1988. Endothelium-dependent contraction induced by nicotine in isolated canine basilar artery – possible involvement of a thromboxane A2 (TXA2) like substance. Life Sci 42, 437445.
  • Silva, C.L.M., Tamura, E.K., Macedo, S.M.D., Cecon, E., Bueno-Alves, L., Farsky, S.H.P., Ferreira, Z.S. & Markus, R.P. 2007. Melatonin inhibits nitric oxide production by microvascular endothelial cells in vivo and in vitro. Br J Pharmacol 151, 195205.
  • Skott, O., Uhrenholt, T.R., Schjerning, J., Hansen, P.B.L., Rasmussen, L.E. & Jensen, B.L. 2006. Rapid actions of aldosterone in vascular health and disease-friend or foe? Pharmacol Ther 111, 495507.
  • Smith, C.J., Sun, D., Hoegler, C., Roth, B.S., Zhang, X., Zhao, G., Xu, X.B., Kobari, Y., Pritchard, K., Sessa, W.C. & Hintze, T.H. 1996. Reduced gene expression of vascular endothelial NO synthase and cyclooxygenase-1 in heart failure. Circ Res 78, 5864.
  • Soares de Moura, R., Miranda, D.Z., Pinto, A.C.A., Sicca, R.F., Souza, M.A.V., Rubenich, L.M.S., Carvalho, L.C.R.M., Rangel, B.M., Tano, T., Madeira, S.V.F. & Resende, A.C. 2004. Mechanism of the endothelium-dependent vasodilation and the antihypertensive effect of Brazilian red wine. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 44, 302309.
  • Sousa, M.G., Yugar-Toledo, J.C., Rubira, M., Ferreira-Melo, S.E., Plentz, R., Barbieri, D., Consolim-Colombo, F., Irigoyen, M.C. & Moreno, H., Jr. 2005. Ascorbic acid improves impaired venous and arterial endothelium-dependent dilation in smokers. Acta Pharmacol Sin 4, 447452.
  • Spier, S.A., Delp, M.D., Stallone, J.N., Dominguez, J.M., II & Muller-Delp, J.M. 2007. Exercise training enhances flow-induced vasodilation in skeletal muscle resistance arteries of aged rats: role of PGI2 and nitric oxide. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292, H3119H3127.
  • Spooner, P.H., Thai, H.M., Goldman, S. & Gaballa, M.A. 2004. Thyroid hormone analog, DITPA, improves endothelial nitric oxide and beta-adrenergic mediated vasorelaxation after myocardial infarction. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 44, 453459.
  • Stähli, B.E., Greutert, H., Mei, S., Graf, P., Frischknecht, K., Stalder, M., Englberger, L., Künzli, A., Schärer, L., Lüscher, T.F., Carrel, T.P. & Tanner, F.C. 2006. Absence of histamine-induced nitric oxide release in the human radial artery: implications for vasospasm of coronary artery bypass vessels. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 290, H1182H1189.
  • Steinberg, H.O., Brechtel, G., Johnson, A., Fineberg, N. & Baron, A.D. 1994. Insulin-mediated skeletal muscle vasodilation is nitric oxide dependent. J Clin Invest 94, 11721179.
  • Stepp, D.W., Merkus, D., Nishikawa, Y. & Chilian, W.M. 2001. Nitric oxide limits coronary vasoconstriction by a shear stress-dependent mechanism. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 281, H796H803.
  • Stocker, R. & Keaney, J.F., Jr. 2004. Role of oxidative modifications in atherosclerosis. Physiol Rev 84, 13811478.
  • Stocker, R. & Keaney, J.F., Jr. 2005. New insights on oxidative stress in the artery wall. J Thromb Haemost 3, 18251834.
  • Stockley, C.S. 1998. Wine in moderation: how could and should recent in vitro and in vivo data be interpreted? Drug Alcohol Rev 17, 365376.
  • Stuehr, D., Pou, S. & Rosen, G.M. 2001. Oxygen reduction by nitric-oxide synthases. J Biol Chem 276, 1453314536.
  • Subramanian, R. & MacLeod, K.M. 2003. Age-dependent changes in blood pressure and arterial reactivity in obese Zucker rats. Eur J Pharmacol 477, 143152.
  • Sun, X. & Ku, D.D. 2006. Selective right, but not left, coronary endothelial dysfunction precedes development of pulmonary hypertension and right heart hypertrophy in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 290, H758H764.
  • Suvorava, T., Lauer, N. & Kojda, G. 2004. Physical inactivity causes endothelial dysfunction in healthy young mice. J Am Coll Cardiol 44, 13201327.
  • Suwaidi, J.A., Hamasaki, S., Higano, S.T., Nishimura, R.A., Holmes, D.R., Jr & Lerman, A. 2000. Long-term follow-up of patients with mild coronary artery disease and endothelial dysfunction. Circulation 101, 948954.
  • Taddei, S. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 1993. Role of endothelium in endothelin-evoked contractions in the rat aorta. Hypertension 21, 915.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Mattei, P., Ghiadoni, L., Gennari, A., Fasolo, C.B., Sudano, I. & Salvetti, A. 1995a. Aging and endothelial function in normotensive subjects and patients with essential hypertension. Circulation 91, 19811987.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Mattei, P., Natali, A., Ferrannini, E. & Salvetti, A. 1995b. Effect of insulin on acetylcholine-induced vasodilation in normotensive subjects and patients with essential hypertension. Circulation 92, 29112918.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Ghiadoni, L., Magagna, A. & Salvetti, A. 1997a. Cyclooxygenase inhibition restores nitric oxide activity in essential hypertension. Hypertension 29, 274279.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Mattei, P., Ghiadoni, L., Fasolo, C.B., Sudano, I. & Salvetti, A. 1997b. Hypertension causes premature aging of endothelial function in humans. Hypertension 29, 736743.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Ghiadoni, L., Mattei, P. & Salvetti, A. 1998. Effects of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition on endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in essential hypertensive patients. J Hypertension 16, 447456.
  • Taddei, S., Virdis, A., Ghiadoni, L., Salvetti, G., Bernini, G., Magagna, A. & Salvetti, A. 2001. Age-related reduction of NO availability and oxidative stress in humans. Hypertension 38, 274.
  • Tan, K.C.B., Xu, A., Chow, W.S., Lam, M.C.W., Ai, V.H.G., Tam, S.C.F. & Lam, K.S.L. 2004. Hypoadiaponectinemia is associated with impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 89, 765769.
  • Tang, E.H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008a. Gap junction inhibitors reduce endothelium-dependent contractions in the aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 327, 148153.
  • Tang, E.H. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008b. Gene expression changes of prostanoid synthases in endothelial cells and prostanoid receptors in vascular smooth muscle cells caused by aging and hypertension. Physiol Genomics 32, 409418.
  • Tang, E.H., Ku, B.B., Tipoe, G.L., Feletou, M., Man, R.Y. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2005a. Endothelium-dependent contractions occur in the aorta of wild-type and COX2−/− knockout but not COX1−/− knockout mice. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 46, 761765.
  • Tang, E.H.C., Feletou, M., Huang, Y., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2005b. Acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside cause long-term inhibition of EDCF-mediated contraction. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 289, H2434H2440.
  • Tang, E.H., Leung, F.P., Huang, Y., Feletou, M., So, K.F., Man, R.Y. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2007. Calcium and reactive oxygen species increase in endothelial cells in response to releasers of endothelium-derived contracting factor. Br J Pharmacol 151, 1523.
  • Tang, E.H., Jensen, B.L., Skott, O., Leung, G.P., Feletou, M., Man, R.Y. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. The role of prostaglandin E and thromboxane-prostanoid receptors in the response to prostaglandin E2 in the aorta of Wistar-Kyoto rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats. Cardiovasc Res 78, 130138.
  • Taubert, D., Roesen, R., Lehmann, C., Jung, N. & Schömig, E. 2007. Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide. JAMA 298, 4960.
  • Tesfamariam, B. 1994. Free radicals in diabetic endothelial cell dysfunction. Free Radic Biol Med 16, 383391.
  • Tesfamariam, B., Jakubowski, J.A. & Cohen, R.A. 1989. Contraction of diabetic rabbit aorta caused by endothelium-derived PGH2-TXA2. Am J Physiol 257, H1327H1333.
  • Tesfamariam, B., Brown, M.L., Deykin, D. & Cohen, R.A. 1990. Elevated glucose promotes generation of endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor prostanoids in rabbit aorta. J Clin Invest 85, 929932.
  • Tesfamariam, B., Brown, M.L. & Cohen, R.A. 1991. Elevated glucose impairs endothelium-dependent relaxation by activating protein kinase C. J Clin Invest 87, 16431648.
  • Tostes, R.C., Nigro, D., Fortes, Z.B. & Carvalho, M.H.C. 2003. Effects of estrogen on the vascular system. Braz J Med Biol Res 36, 11431158.
  • Touyz, R.M. 2007. Regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase by thrombin. Hypertension 49, 429431.
  • Touyz, R.M. & Schiffrin, E.L. 2004. Reactive oxygen species in vascular biology: implications in hypertension. Histochem Cell Biol 122, 339352.
  • Traupe, T., Lang, M., Goettsch, W., Munter, K., Morawietz, H., Vetter, W. & Barton, M. 2002a. Obesity increases prostanoid-mediated vasoconstriction and vascular thromboxane receptor gene expression. J Hypertension 20, 22392245.
  • Traupe, T., D’uscio, L.V., Muenter, K., Morawietz, H., Vetter, W. & Barton, M. 2002b. Effects of obesity on endothelium-dependent reactivity during acute nitric oxide synthase inhibition: modulatory role of endothelin. Clin Sci 103(Suppl. 48), 135155.
  • Treasure, C.B., Vita, J.A., Cox, D.A., Fish, R.D., Gordon, J.B., Mudge, G.H., Colucci, W.S., Sutton, M.G., Selwyn, A.P., Alexander, R.W. & Ganz, P. 1990. Endothelial-dependent dilation of the coronary microvasculature is impaired in dilated cardiomyopathy. Circulation 91, 772779.
  • Trochu, J.N., Mital, S., Zhang, X., Xu, X., Ochoa, M., Liao, J.K., Recchia, F.A. & Hintze, T.H. 2003. Preservation of NO production by statins in the treatment of heart failure. Cardiovasc Res 60, 250258.
  • Tschudi, M.R., Barton, M., Bersinger, N.A., Moreau, P., Cosentino, F., Noll, G., Malinski, T. & Lüscher, T.F. 1996a. Effect of age on kinetics of nitric oxide release in rat aorta and pulmonary artery. J Clin Invest 98, 899905.
  • Tschudi, M.R., Mesaros, S., Lüscher, T.F. & Malinski, T. 1996b. Direct in situ measurement of nitric oxide in mesenteric resistance arteries. Increased decomposition by superoxide in hypertension. Hypertension 27, 3235.
  • Uhrenholt, T.R., Schjerning, J., Hansen, P.B., Nørregaard, R., Jensen, B.L., Sorensen, G.L. & Skott, O. 2003. Rapid inhibition of vasoconstriction in renal afferent arterioles by aldosterone. Circ Res 93, 12581266.
  • Uhrenholt, T.R., Schjerning, J., Rasmussen, L.E., Hansen, P.B., Nørregaard, R., Jensen, B.L. & Skott, O. 2004. Rapid non-genomic effects of aldosterone on rodent vascular function. Acta Physiol Scand 181, 415419.
  • Ungvari, Z., Parrado-Fernandez, C., Csiszar, A. & De Cabo, R. 2008. Mechanisms underlying caloric restriction and lifespan regulation: implications for vascular aging. Circ Res 102, 519528.
  • Vallance, P. 2003. Nitric oxide: therapeutic opportunities. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 17, 110.
  • Vallejo, S., Angulo, J., Peiró, C., Sánchez-Ferrer, A., Cercas, E., Llergo, J.L., Nevado, J., Sánchez-Ferrer, C.F. & Rodriguez-Manas, L. 2000. Prevention of endothelial dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats by gliclazide treatment. J Diabetes Complications 14, 224233.
  • Van Guilder, G.P., Hoetzer, G.L., Dengel, D.R., Stauffer, B.L. & DeSouza, C.A. 2006. Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in normotensive and normoglycemic obese adult humans. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 47, 310313.
  • Van Guilder, G.P., Stauffer, B.L., Greiner, J.J. & DeSouza, C.A. 2008. Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in overweight and obese adult humans is not limited to muscarinic receptor agonists. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H1685H1692.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1988. The endothelium – modulator of vascular smooth-muscle tone. N Engl J Med 319, 512513.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1991. Hypercholesterolaemia, atherosclerosis and release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor by aggregation platelets. Eur Heart J 12, 2532.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1993a. Other endothelium-derived vasoactive factors. Circulation 87, V9V17.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1993b. Is endothelin involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension? Hypertension 21, 747751.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1996. Endothelial dysfunction in hypertension. J Hypertens 14, S83S93.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 1997. Endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Eur Heart J 18, E19E29.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 2000. Say NO to ET. J Auton Nerv Syst 81, 271277.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 2001. Endothelium-derived free radicals: for worse and for better. J Clin Invest 107, 2325.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 2002. Ageing and endothelial dysfunction. Eur Heart J 4, A8A17.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 2003. Endothelial control of vasomotor function: from health to coronary disease. Circulation J 67, 572575.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. Arginine and arginase: eNOS double crossed? Circ Res 102, 866868.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. & Boulanger, C.M. 1995. Endothelium-dependent responses in hypertension. Hypertens Res 18, 8798.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M. & Shimokawa, H. 1989. Endothelium-derived relaxing factor(s) and coronary vasopasm. Circulation 80, 19.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M., Rubanyi, G.M., Miller, V.M. & Houston, D.S. 1986. Modulation of vascular smooth muscle contraction by the endothelium. Annu Rev Physiol 48, 23472354.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M., Perrault, L.P. & Vilaine, J.P. 1997. Endothelial dysfunction and vascular disease. In: G.Rubanyi & V.J.Dzau (eds) The Endothelium in Clinical Practice, pp. 265289. Marcel Dekker, New York, NY, USA.
  • Vanhoutte, P.M., Félétou, M. & Taddei, S. 2005. Endothelium-dependent contractions in hypertension. Br J Pharmacol 144, 449458.
  • Voetsch, B., Jin, R.C. & Loscalzo, J. 2004. Review – Nitric oxide insufficiency and atherothrombosis. Histochem Cell Biol 122, 353367.
  • Wallerath, T., Deckert, G., Ternes, T., Anderson, H., Li, H., Witte, K. & Förstermann, U. 2002. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic phytoalexin present in red wine, enhances expression and activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Circulation 106, 16521658.
  • Wang, Z.V. & Scherer, P.E. 2008. Adiponectin, cardiovascular function, and hypertension. Hypertension 51, 814.
  • Wang, A., Nishihashi, T., Murakami, S., Trandafir, C.C., Ji, X., Shimizu, Y. & Kurahashi, K. 2003. Noradrenaline-induced contraction mediated by endothelial COX-1 metabolites in the rat coronary artery. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 42(Suppl. 1), S39S42.
  • Wassmann, S., Bäumer, A.T., Strehlow, K., Eickels, M., Grohé, C., Ahlbory, K., Rösen, R., Böhm, M. & Nickenig, G. 2001. Endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress during estrogen deficiency in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Circulation 103, 435441.
  • Watts, K., Beye, P., Siafarikas, A., Davis, E.A., Jones, T.W., O’Driscoll, G. & Green, D.J. 2004. Exercise training normalizes vascular dysfunction and improves central adiposity in obese adolescents. J Am Coll Cardiol 43, 18231827.
  • Widder, J., Behr, T., Fraccarollo, D., Hu, K., Galuppo, P., Tas, P., Angermann, C.E., Ertl, G. & Bauersachs, J. 2004. Vascular endothelial dysfunction and superoxide anion production in heart failure are p38 MAP kinase-dependent. Cardiovasc Res 63, 161167.
  • Wilson, A.M., Harada, R., Nair, N., Balasubramanian, N. & Cooke, J.P. 2007. l-Arginine supplementation in peripheral arterial disease: no benefit and possible harm. Circulation 116, 188195.
  • Wong, C.M., Yao, X., Au, C.L., Tsang, S.Y., Fung, K.P., Laher, I., Vanhoutte, P.M. & Huang, Y. 2006. Raloxifene prevents endothelial dysfunction imaging ovariectomized female rats. Vascul Pharmacol 44, 290298.
  • Wong, M.S.K., Delansorne, R., Man, R.Y.K. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2008. Vitamin D derivatives acutely reduce endothelium-dependent contractions in the aorta of the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 295, H289H296.
  • Xiang, L., Dearman, J., Abram, S.R., Carter, C. & Hester, R.L. 2008. Insulin resistance and impaired functional vasodilation in obese Zucker rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294, H1658H1666.
  • Xiong, Y., Fu, Y.F., Fu, S.H. & Zhou, H.H. 2003. Elevated levels of the serum endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase and metabolic control in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 42, 191196.
  • Xu, S., Jiang, B., Maitland, K.A., Bayat, H., Gu, J., Nadler, J.L., Corda, S., Lavielle, G., Verbeuren, T.J., Zuccollo, A. & Cohen, R.A. 2006. The thromboxane receptor antagonist S18886 attenuates renal oxidant stress and proteinuria in diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Diabetes 55, 110119.
  • Xu, Y.C., Leung, S.W.S., Yeung, D.K.Y., Hu, L.H., Chen, G.H., Che, C.M. & Man, R.Y.K. 2007. Structure–activity relationships of flavonoids for vascular relaxation in porcine coronary artery. Phytochemistry 68, 11791188.
  • Yan, C., Huang, A., Kaley, G. & Sun, D. 2007. Chronic high blood flow potentiates shear stress-induced release of NO in arteries of aged rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293, H3105H3110.
  • Yanagisawa, M. & Masaki, T. 1989. Endothelin, a novel endothelium-derived peptide: pharmacological activities, regulation and possible roles in cardiovascular control. Biochem Pharmacol 38, 18771883.
  • Yanagisawa, M., Kurihara, H., Kimura, S., Mitsui, Y., Kobayashi, M., Watanabe, T.X. & Masaki, T. 1988. A novel potent vasoconstrictor peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells. Nature 332, 411415.
  • Yang, D., Feletou, M., Boulanger, C.M., Wu, H.F., Levens, N., Zhang, J.N. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2002. Oxygen-derived free radicals mediate endothelium-dependent contractions to acetylcholine in aortas from spontaneously hypertensive rats. Br J Pharmacol 136, 104110.
  • Yang, D., Feletou, M., Levens, N., Zhang, J.N. & Vanhoutte, P.M. 2003. A diffusible substance(s) mediates endothelium-dependent contractions in the aorta of SHR. Hypertension 41, 143148.
  • Yasuro, I., Tomohiro, O., Takaatsu, K., Yoshihisa, M., Kiyohiko, S. & Ken, O. 1999. Nitric oxide-dependent vasodilator mechanism is not impaired by hypertension but is diminished with aging in the rat aorta. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 33, 756761.
  • Yin, Q.F. & Xiong, Y. 2005. Pravastatin restores DDAH activity and endothelium-dependent relaxation of rat aorta after exposure to glycated protein. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 45, 525532.
  • Zampetaki, A., Kirton, J.P. & Xu, Q. 2008. Vascular repair by endothelial progenitor cells. Cardiovasc Res 78, 413421.
  • Zerrouk, A., Auguet, M. & Chabrier, P.E. 1998. Augmented endothelium-dependent contraction to angiotensin II in the SHR aorta: role of an inducible cyclooxygenase metabolite. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 31, 525533.
  • Zhang, L. & Kosaka, H. 2002. Sex-specific acute effect of estrogen on endothelium-derived contracting factor in the renal artery of hypertensive Dahl rats. J Hypertension 20, 237246.
  • Zhao, G., Shen, W., Xu, X., Ochoa, M., Bernstein, R. & Hintze, T.H. 1995. Selective impairment of vagally mediated, nitric oxide - dependent coronary vasodilation in conscious dogs after pacing-induced heart failure. Circulation 91, 26552663.
  • Zhong, J.C., Yu, X.Y., Huang, Y., Yung, L.M., Lau, C.W. & Lin, S.G. 2007. Apelin modulates aortic vascular tone via endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation pathway in diabetic mice. Cardiovasc Res 74, 388395.
  • Zhou, M.S., Nishida, Y., Chen, Q.H. & Kosaka, H. 1999. Endothelium-derived contracting factor in carotid artery of hypertensive Dahl rats. Hypertension 34, 3943.
  • Zhou, Y., Varadharaj, S., Zhao, X., Parinandi, N., Flavahan, N.A. & Zweier, J.L. 2005. Acetylcholine cause endothelium-dependent contraction of mouse arteries. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 289, H1027H1032.
  • Zhu, W., Cheng, K.K.Y., Vanhoutte, P.M., Lam, K.S.L. & Xu, A. 2008. Vascular effects of adiponectin: molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic intervention. Clin Sci 114, 361374.
  • Zou, M.H., Leist, M. & Ullrich, V. 1999. Selective nitration of prostacyclin synthase and defective vasorelaxation in atherosclerotic bovine coronary arteries. Am J Pathol 154, 13591365.
  • Zou, M.H., Shi, C. & Cohen, R.A. 2002. High glucose via peroxynitrite causes tyrosine nitration and inactivation of prostacyclin synthase that is associated with thromboxane/prostaglandin H(2) receptor-mediated apoptosis and adhesion molecule expression in cultured human aortic endothelial cells. Diabetes 51, 198203.