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.
- Spontaneously hypertensive rats
- Vascular contraction
- Vascular relaxation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)