Nitric oxide does not significantly contribute to changes in pulse pressure amplification during light aerobic exercise
Sharman, JE and McEniery, CM and Campbell, R and Pusalkar, P and Wilkinson, IB and Coombes, JS and Cockcroft, JR, Nitric oxide does not significantly contribute to changes in pulse pressure amplification during light aerobic exercise, Hypertension, 51, (4) pp. 856-861. ISSN 0194-911X (2008) [Refereed Article]
NO modulates resting blood pressure and wave reflection. The effect of NO on exercise central hemodynamics is unknown but has important implications relating to cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of NO to pulse pressure (PP) amplification and wave reflection during exercise. Twelve healthy men aged 29ą1 years (meanąSEM) undertook cycle exercise at 60% of their maximal heart rate. Noninvasive measures of central blood pressure, estimated aortic pulse wave velocity, and wave reflection (augmentation index) were obtained by pulse wave analysis during intravenous infusion of saline (control), N-monomethyl-l-arginine (a NO-synthase inhibitor), or noradrenaline (control vasoconstrictor). PP amplification was defined as the ratio of peripheral to central PP. Cardiac output and stroke volume were determined by electric bioimpedance. Both N-monomethyl-l-arginine and noradrenaline caused a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (P<0.01) and augmentation index (P<0.01), as well as reduced ratio of peripheral to central PP (P<0.05) at baseline. Exercise caused a significant increase in the ratio of peripheral to central PP (P<0.001), whereas augmentation index and estimated aortic pulse wave velocity declined (for both P<0.05) during all 3 of the infusion protocols. However, no significant differences were observed in augmentation index, ratio of peripheral to central PP, or estimated aortic pulse wave velocity between infusion procedures (P>0.50) during exercise. Also, heart rate, peripheral vascular resistance, and cardiac output did not differ during exercise between saline, N-monomethyl-l-arginine, or noradrenaline. Although we cannot rule out other vasodilator mechanisms having adjusted for NO blockade, our results indicate that NO does not solely contribute to systemic arterial stiffness or altered blood pressure amplification during light exercise.