Basal NO locally modulates human iliac artery function in vivo

Matthias Schmitt, Albert Avolio, Ahmad Qasem, Carmel M. McEniery, Mark Butlin, Ian B. Wilkinson, John R. Cockcroft*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrated previously that endogenous NO influences large-artery distensibility in the ovine hindlimb. However, the role of basal NO in larger human conduit arteries is controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate whether basal production of NO, acting locally, influences iliac artery distensibility in humans. Distensibility was assessed by intra-arterial measurement of the pulse wave velocity. Eighteen subjects, free of significant coronary or iliac artery disease, were studied after diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Simultaneous pressure waveforms were recorded with a high-fidelity dual-pressure sensing cacheter, placed in the common iliac artery during intra-arterial infusion of saline (baseline), glyceryl trinitrate (4 nmol/min), or NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (8 and 16 μmol/min). Drugs were infused proximally, via the catheter to perfuse the segment of artery under study, or distally, via the sheath, to control for any reflex changes in flow or sympathetic activation. Velocity was calculated using the foot-to-foot methodology. Six subjects received glyceryl trinitrate and 12 N G-monomethyl-L-arginine. There was no change in velocity after infusion of glyceryl trinitrate or NG-monomethyl-L-arginine via the sheath. However, infusion of glyceryl trinitrate via the catheter significantly reduced velocity by 31.43±5.80% (mean±SEM; P<0.01; P=0.02 for comparison). Likewise, infusion of the highest dose of NG-monomethyl- L-arginine via the catheter significantly increased velocity by 27.25±8.20% (P=0.001; P=0.02 for comparison). Importantly, there was no change in mean arterial blood pressure throughout the studies. These data indicate that under resting conditions, local NO production modulates human iliac artery distensibility and that exogenous NO increases arterial distensibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


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