Gabrielle (Sims) Rico, D.O., M.B.A., and M.S.


Education: Bachelor of Science in human nutrition (May 2013)

Master of Science in kinesiology from Kansas State University

Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University

McNair Project: The Role of n-NOS Inhibition in Cardiovascular Control (2011)

Mentor: Timothy Musch, Ph.D.

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) mediates vascular control. When nNOS is blocked at rest using S-methyl-L-thiocitrulline (SMTC), blood flow and vascular conductance to hind- limb muscles decreases and mean arterial pressure increases simultaneously (MAP, Copp et al. J Physiol. 588: 1321-31, 2010). This investigation tested the hypothesis that nNOS blockade with SMTC would increase lumbar sympathetic nerve discharge (SND) in parallel with an increased MAP in baroreceptor-denervated rats consistent with centrally-mediated SMTC effects. However, contrary to this hypothesis, after SMTC infusion lumbar SND did not increase (P>0.05) whereas MAP did (+40+8.3%, P<0.05) and there was no correlation between these variables. In contrast, renal SND (+17.6+6.5%, P<0.05) correlated significantly with MAP (r=0.66, P<0.001). These data suggest that SMTC-induced resting skeletal muscle blood flow is mediated principally by peripheral (i.e., muscle) rather than central (via SND) nNOS blockade. Furthermore, renal sympathetic vasoconstriction likely contributes to the elevated MAP seen with nNOS blockade.