Elevated production of 20-HETE in the cerebral vasculature contributes to severity of ischemic stroke and oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Kathryn M. Dunn, Marija Renic, Averia K. Flasch, David R. Harder, J R Falck, Richard J. Roman

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Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, but the factors that contribute to the increased incidence and severity of ischemic stroke in hypertension remain to be determined. 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) has been reported to be a potent constrictor of cerebral arteries, and inhibitors of 20-HETE formation reduce infarct size following cerebral ischemia. The present study examined whether elevated production of 20-HETE in the cerebral vasculature could contribute to the larger infarct size previously reported after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in hypertensive strains of rat [spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rat (SHRSP)]. The synthesis of 20-HETE in the cerebral vasculature of SHRSP measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was about twice that seen in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. This was associated with the elevated expression of cytochrome P-450 (CYP)4A protein and CYP4A1 and CYP4A8 mRNA. Infarct volume after transient MCAO was greater in SHRSP (36 ± 4% of hemisphere volume) than in SHR (19 ± 5%) or WKY rats (5 ± 2%). This was associated with a significantly greater reduction in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in SHR and SHRSP than in WKY rats during the ischemic period (78% vs. 62%). In WKY rats, rCBF returned to 75% of control following reperfusion. In contrast, SHR and SHRSP exhibited a large (166 ± 18% of baseline) and sustained (1 h) postischemic hyperperfusion. Acute blockade of the synthesis of 20-HETE with N-hydroxy-N′-(4-butyl-2- methylphenyl)-formamidine (HET0016; 1 mg/kg) reduced infarct size by 59% in SHR and 87% in SHRSP. HET0016 had no effect on the fall in rCBF during MCAO but eliminated the hyperemic response. HET0016 also attenuated vascular O 2•- formation and restored endothelium-dependent dilation in cerebral arteries of SHRSP. These results indicate the production of 20-HETE is elevated in the cerebral vasculature of SHRSP and contributes to oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, and the enhanced sensitivity to ischemic stroke in this hypertensive model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2455-H2465
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008



  • 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid
  • Cytochrome P-450A
  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • N-hydroxy-N′-(4-butyl-2-methylphenyl)-formamidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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