The role of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) in either the healthy circulation or in those with hypercholesterolemia is unknown. In healthy and hypercholesterolemic subjects, we measured forearm blood flow (FBF) using strain-gauge plethysmography at rest, during graded handgrip exercise, and after sodium nitroprusside infusion. Measurements were repeated after l-NMMA, tetraethylammonium (TEA), and combined infusions. At rest, l-NMMA infusion reduced FBF in healthy but not hypercholesterolemic subjects. At peak exercise, vasodilation was lower in hypercholesterolemic compared to healthy subjects (274% vs 438% increase in FBF, p=0.017). TEA infusion reduced exercise-induced vasodilation in both healthy and hypercholesterolemic subjects (27%, p<0.0001 and -20%, p<0.0001, respectively). The addition of l-NMMA to TEA further reduced FBF in healthy (-14%, p=0.012) but not in hypercholesterolemic subjects, indicating a reduced nitric oxide and greater EDHF-mediated contribution to exercise-induced vasodilation in hypercholesterolemia. In conclusion, exercise-induced vasodilation is impaired and predominantly mediated by EDHF in hypercholesterolemic subjects. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION IDENTIFIER NCT00166166:
Keywords: endothelial function; endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor; exercise; hypercholesterolemia; nitric oxide; vasodilation.
© The Author(s) 2015.