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Adaptation of myocardial blood flow to increased metabolic demand is not dependent on endothelial vasodilators in the rat heart.
  1. C. P. Tiefenbacher,
  2. H. Tillmanns,
  3. F. Niroomand,
  4. R. Zimmermann,
  5. W. Kübler
  1. Department of Cardiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of endothelial vasodilating factors in adaptation of myocardial blood flow to increased metabolic demands. DESIGN: Alterations in the effects of endothelium dependent (acetylcholine) and independent (sodium nitroprusside) vasodilators and the beta 1 receptor agonist dobutamine were studied after inhibition of endothelium derived relaxing factor (EDRF) with L-NG-nitro-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), prostanoid synthesis with indomethacin, and ATP sensitive potassium channels with glibenclamide. EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS: Female Wistar rats, in situ perfused heart. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Myocardial blood flow (H2 clearance); systolic fractional thickening (pulsed Doppler); mean arterial blood pressure. RESULTS: L-NAME reduced myocardial blood flow by 58 (12)% (mean (SD), P < 0.001) and systolic thickening fraction (FT) by 36 (9)% (P < 0.05). These effects were significantly reversed by administration of L-arginine but not D-arginine. Pretreatment with L-NAME inhibited the increase in myocardial blood flow caused by acetylcholine (control: +42 (9)%; L-NAME: -29 (7)%, P < 0.001) but did not affect the increase in myocardial blood flow caused by sodium nitroprusside (control: +44 (5)%; L-NAME: +34 (10)%, NS). Pretreatment with L-NAME did not change the effect of dobutamine on myocardial blood flow (+61 (3)%) and FT (+32 (8)%) compared with baseline values (P < 0.001). Neither pretreatment with indomethacin nor with glibenclamide reduced the dobutamine induced increase in myocardial blood flow. CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of EDRF, prostanoid synthesis, and ATP sensitive potassium channels did not reduce the vasodilator reserve during increased metabolic demands induced by beta 1 adrenergic stimulation. Therefore, adaptation of myocardial blood flow to increased metabolic demands is independent of endothelial relaxing factors in the rat heart.

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