Changes in eNOS phosphorylation contribute to increased arteriolar NO release during juvenile growth. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitric oxide (NO) mediates a major portion of arteriolar endothelium-dependent dilation in adults, but indirect evidence has suggested that NO contributes minimally to these responses in the young. Isolated segments of arterioles were studied in vitro to verify this age-related increase in NO release and investigate the mechanism by which it occurs. Directly measured NO release induced by ACh or the Ca(2+) ionophore A-23187 was five- to sixfold higher in gracilis muscle arterioles from 42- to 46-day-old (juvenile) rats than in those from 25- to 28-day-old (weanling) rats. There were no differences between groups in arteriolar endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression or tetrahydrobiopterin levels, and arteriolar l-arginine levels were lower in juvenile vessels than in weanling vessels (104 6 vs.126 3 pmol/mg). In contrast, agonist-induced eNOS Thr(495) dephosphorylation and eNOS Ser(1177) phosphorylation (events required for maximal activity) were up to 30% and 65% greater, respectively, in juvenile vessels. Juvenile vessels did not show increased expression of enzymes that mediate these events [protein phosphatases 1 and 2A and PKA and PKB (Akt)] or heat shock protein 90, which facilitates Ser(1177) phosphorylation. However, agonist-induced colocalization of heat shock protein 90 with eNOS was 34-66% greater in juvenile vessels than in weanling vessels, and abolition of this difference with geldanamycin also abolished the difference in Ser(1177) phosphorylation between groups. These findings suggest that growth-related increases in arteriolar NO bioavailability may be due at least partially to changes in the regulation of eNOS phosphorylation and increased signaling activity, with no change in the abundance of eNOS signaling proteins.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Kang, L. S., Nurkiewicz, T. R., Wu, G., & Boegehold, M. A.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Kang, Lori S||Nurkiewicz, Timothy R||Wu, Guoyao||Boegehold, Matthew A

publication date

  • February 2012