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We investigated the potential effects of monosodium glutamate (MSG)-induced obesity with regards to nitric oxide and prostanoid production, as well as potassium channel function, in rat thoracic arteries.Newborn male Wistar rats were injected intraperitoneally with typically reported MSG (4.0mg/g) once daily for 4 consecutive days. At 90days postnatal, the rats were sacrificed and the thoracic aortas were evaluated for vascular responses and for prostanoid production.Nitric oxide was studied with calcium ionophore (A23187), acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). The release of prostanoids was measured under basal and ACh-stimulated conditions, and the vasomotor effect of exogenous thromboxane A2 mimetic, U46619 was assessed. Potassium channel activities were analyzed using an NS1619 opener for BKCa channels and pinacidil for KATP channels.Arteries from MSG-obese rats exhibited a reduced maximal contraction to potassium chloride and hyper-responsiveness to U46619, suggesting that MSG also alters the responsiveness of vascular smooth muscles. The endothelium-dependent relaxation to ACh and A23817 was attenuated, suggesting low nitric oxide bioavailability. The hypersensitivity of arteries to an exogenous nitric oxide donor, SNP, occurred. The secondary contraction to A23817 was augmented, suggesting increased activation of the prostanoid receptor. The prostanoid release was increased in both basal- and acetylcholine-stimulated rings. In addition, down-regulation of KATP and BKCa channels influenced hyperpolarizing mechanisms.Our findings suggest that increased prostanoid production and hypersensitivity to thromboxane A2 together with down-regulation of potassium channels and low nitric oxide bioavailability may contribute to the increase in blood pressure found in adult MSG-obese male rats.