Role of nitric oxide and cGMP system in regulation of ductus arteriosus tone in ovine fetus

Jonathan J. Fox, James W. Ziegler, D. Dunbar Ivy, Ann C. Halbower, John P. Kinsella, Steven H. Abman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although endogenous nitric oxide (NO) modulates basal tone in the fetal pulmonary and systemic circulations, little is known about its role in regulating ductus arteriosus (DA) tone. Immunostaining of DA tissue from late-gestation fetal lambs demonstrated strong staining for endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) in DA endothelium. To study the physiological role of the NO and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) system in the DA in vivo, we measured the hemodynamic effects of N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA; 30 mg), a NOS inhibitor, methylene blue (40 mg), a guanylate cyclase inhibitor, and indomethacin (0.8 mg), a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, in 10 chronically prepared late-gestation fetal lambs. L-NNA increased main pulmonary artery (MPA) and aortic pressures (P <0.05 vs. baseline) but did not change the pressure gradient between the MPA and the aorta. L-NNA caused a small decrease in DA flow and a slight rise in resistance across the DA. Methylene blue increased both MPA pressure and the pressure gradient between the MPA and the aorta from 0.3 ± 0.2 (baseline) to 7.0 ± 2.7 mmHg (P <0.05). Indomethacin increased both MPA pressure and the pressure gradient between the MPA and the aorta from 1.1 ± 0.4 (baseline) to 6.3 ± 1.5 mmHg (P <0.05) after 40 min. Indomethacin decreased DA flow and increased DA resistance. We conclude that eNOS is in fetal DA endothelial cells and that NOS inhibition causes constriction of the DA in vivo. DA constriction after NOS inhibition is minimal, especially in comparison with cyclooxygenase inhibition. Methylene blue also constricts the DA, suggesting that guanylate cyclase activity contributes to DA relaxation. We speculate that, although the NO and cGMP system modulates DA tone, prostaglandins may play a greater role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume271
Issue number6 40-6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cyclooxygenase
  • guanylate cyclase
  • indomethacin
  • lung development
  • methylene blue
  • N(G)-nitro-L-arginine
  • prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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