Nitric oxide modulates oxygen consumption by arteriolar walls in rat skeletal muscle

Masahiro Shibata, Shigeru Ichioka, Akira Kamiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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To study the role of nitric oxide (NO) in regulating oxygen consumption by vessel walls, the oxygen consumption rate of arteriolar walls in rat cremaster muscle was measured in vivo during flow-induced vasodilation and after inhibiting NO synthesis. The oxygen consumption rate of arteriolar walls was calculated based on the intra- and perivascular PO2 values measured by phosphorescence quenching laser microscopy. The perivascular PO2 value of the arterioles during vasodilation was significantly higher than under control conditions, although the intravascular PO2 values under both conditions were approximately the same. Inhibition of NO synthesis, on the other hand, caused a significant increase in arterial blood pressure and a significant decrease in arteriolar diameter. Inhibition of NO synthesis also caused a significant decrease in both the intra- and perivascular PO2 values of the arterioles. Inhibition of NO synthesis increased the oxygen consumption rate of the vessel walls by 42%, whereas enhancement of flow-induced NO release decreased it by 34%. These results suggest that NO plays an important role not only as a regulator of peripheral vascular tone but also as a modulator of tissue oxygenation by reducing oxygen consumption by vessel walls. In addition, enhancement of NO release during exercise may facilitate efficient oxygen supply to the surrounding high metabolic tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2673-H2679
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 58-6
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1



  • Flow-induced vasodilation
  • N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester
  • Oxygen transport
  • Vascular endothelial cells
  • Vascular tone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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