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obJeCtives: To examine whether changes in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability occurring during a 25 min occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery and following ischemic preconditioning (PC) in anesthetized dogs (chloralose and urethane, intravenous) are associated with changes in the activation of NO synthase (NOS) enzymes.
Methods: In 12 control and 16 preconditioned dogs, total NOS activity (measured using radioimmunoassay), superoxide (measured using confocal microscopy) and nitrotyrosine (NT; measured using Western blot) production were assessed in tissue samples obtained from the left ventricular wall both after the PC (two 5 min occlusions) procedure and at two time points (5 min and 25 min) during prolonged ischemia. Plasma nitrate/nitrite concentrations in the blood of the coronary sinus were also determined.
ResuLts: Compared with the sham control group that was not subjected to ischemia, occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery resulted in an initial increase, followed by a significant decrease in NOS activity and nitrate/nitrite levels. There were parallel increases in superoxide and NT production by the end of the ischemic period. PC itself enhanced NOS activity and the concentration of NO metabolites, which were maintained during the prolonged occlusion. Furthermore, PC prevented prolonged ischemia-induced superoxide and NT formation.
ConCLusions: The present study demonstrated that changes in NO bioavailability during ischemia are closely associated with changes in NOS activation. PC stimulates and maintains the activation of NOS, thereby providing better NO bioavailability and suppressed free radical formation during sustained ischemia. All of these effects may have importance in the previously observed marked antiarrhythmic effect of PC.