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To test whether nitric oxide and prostaglandin pathways interact in hypercapnic cerebral vasodilatation, cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured in enflurane anaesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats using the hydrogen clearance method. Isometric tension was measured in rat middle cerebral arteries in vitro. The neuronal NO synthase inhibitor 7-nitroindazole (7-NI 60 mg kg-1 i.p.) reduced the hypercapnic CBF response by 62 +/- 7% (but not the hypoxic response) and indomethacin (IMC 6 mg kg-1 i.v.) reduced the hypercapnic CBF response by 60 +/- 5%. Combined application caused only an 80 +/- 1% reduction. The attenuation of hypercapnic CBF by IMC was diminished by 7-NI and similarly 7-NI had less effect in the presence of IMC. Spermine-NO (50 microM 0.5 microL min-1 intracortically) increased eucapnic and hypercapnic CBF in the presence of IMC. In isolated middle cerebral arteries, combined application of sodium nitroprusside (SNP 3 nM) and prostacyclin (30 nM) had a synergistic vasodilatory effect. Milrinone (PDE-III inhibitor) also potentiated prostacyclin-mediated vasodilatation. Our results suggest that the NO- and IMC-sensitive pathways involved in the hypercapnic response are distinct, however, both may interact synergistically. A similar synergism was observed between the effects of SNP and prostacyclin.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Physiol Scand

Publication Date





183 - 193


Animals, Antihypertensive Agents, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Enzyme Inhibitors, Epoprostenol, Hypercapnia, Indazoles, Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide Donors, Nitroprusside, Prostaglandins, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Signal Transduction, Vasodilation