Vasodilator and Antihypertensive Effects of L-Serine
L-serine, a non-essential amino acid, plays a role in the biosynthesis of the amino acids, proteins, purine and pyrimidine nucleotides. It is important for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It has been considered in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and psychomotor retardation, and of the seizures encountered in patients with rare inborn errors of L-serine biosynthesis. However, there are no reports in the literature of the direct cardiovascular effects of L-serine. Using normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats, Sprague-Dawley rats rendered hypertensive by chronic treatment with the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitior NG nitro L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the present study examined the in vitro and in vivo effects of L-serine. In vitro studies focused on L-serine induced changes in phenylephrine constricted third order branches of rat mesenteric arterioles while the in vivo studies examined the effects of intravenous infusion of L-serine on mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) in intact anaesthetized rats. L-serine (10 to 200 µmol/L) evoked concentration-dependent vasodilatation in phenylephrine constricted endothelium-intact, but not in endothelium-denuded, rat mesenteric arterioles. The vasodilator responses to L-serine were absent in the combined presence of apamin, a calcium activated small conductance potassium (SKCa) channel inhibitor, and TRAM-34, a calcium activated intermediate conductance potassium (IKCa) channel inhibitor, or ouabain, a sodium pump inhibitor and barium (Ba2+), an inward rectifying potassium (Kir) channel inhibitor, or when the vessels were depolarized by potassium chloride. The maximal vasodilatation response (Emax) to L-serine was higher in vessels from L-NAME treated rats (40%) than from control rats (20%). In anesthetized rats, L-serine evoked a rapid, reversible, dose-dependent fall in MAP (without a significant change in HR), which was more pronounced in L-NAME treated rats (> 60 mmHg) than in normotensive control rats (25 mmHg). The fall in MAP was inhibited (p<0.01) by apamin plus charybdotoxin pretreatment. Charybdotoxin was used in place of Tram-34 in in vivo studies since Tram-34 is not soluble in water or saline. In age matched Sprague-Dawley, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and SHR strains, D-serine had the same effects on MAP and HR as L-serine; however, L-serine evoked a greater maximal fall in MAP in all strains, and the effect was more pronounced in hypertensive rats. In contrast, the infusion of glycine, a metabolite of L-serine led to a dose-dependent fall in MAP in normotensive rats but a dose-dependent increase in MAP in both SHR and L-NAME treated hypertensive WKY rats. Both the depressor and pressor responses to glycine were abolished by pretreatment with the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor antagonist, MK-801. Regional hemodynamic studies performed using the fluorescent tagged microsphere distribution technique revealed that the fall in MAP and profound decrease in total peripheral resistance (TPR) evoked by acute L-serine infusion is due to increased blood flow in the splanchnic region and more particularly in the small intestinal vascular beds. This effect is blocked by the combined treatment with the KCa channel inhibitors, apamin plus charybdotoxin. Although resting MAP and TPR are higher, and cardiac output (CO) is lower both in SHR and in WKY rats rendered hypertensive by L-NAME treatment compared to normotensive WKY rats, L-serine infusion leads to a rapid fall in TPR and MAP, and an increase in CO in all models. This effect was more profound in the hypertensive rats. These findings suggest that L-serine could be helpful in overcoming splanchnic organ failure observed in patients with cardiopulmonary bypass. In addition, L-serine, either alone or in combination with other antihypertensive medications, could be considered in the management of endothelial dysfunctional states with reduced NO bioavailability such as hypertension and diabetes.
School:University of Saskatchewan
School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:amino acids blood pressure l serine glycine vasodilation hypertension mean arterial
Date of Publication:07/17/2009