Blood pressure and mesenteric resistance arterial function after spaceflight

Daniel C. Hatton, Qi Yue, Justin Chapman, Hong Xue, Jacqueline Dierickx, Chantal Roullet, Sarah Coste, Jean-Baptiste Roullet, David A. McCarron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ground studies indicate that spaceflight may diminish vascular contraction. To examine that possibility, vascular function was measured in spontaneously hypertensive rats immediately after an 18-day shuttle flight. Isolated mesenteric resistance arterial responses to cumulative additions of norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and sodium nitroprusside were measured using wire myography within 17 h of landing. After flight, maximal contraction to norepinephrine was attenuated (P < 0.001) as was relaxation to acetylcholine (P < 0.001) and sodium nitroprusside (P < 0.05). At high concentrations, acetylcholine caused vascular contraction in vessels from flight animals but not in vessels from vivarium control animals (P < 0.05). The results are consistent with data from ground studies and indicate that spaceflight causes both endothelial-dependent and endothelial-independent alterations in vascular function. The resulting decrement in vascular function may contribute to orthostatic intolerance after spaceflight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Microgravity
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rats
  • Vascular contraction
  • Vascular relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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