Endothelial vasodilator production by uterine and systemic arteries. I. Effects of ANG II on PGI2 and NO in pregnancy

Ronald R. Magness, Charles R. Rosenfeld, Abdullah Hassan, Philip W. Shaul

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123 Scopus citations


Uterine vasculature is less responsive than systemic vasculature to angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced vasoconstriction. We hypothesized that pregnancy augments basal and ANG II-stimulated endothelial prostacyclin (PGI2) and/or nitric oxide (NO) production, which locally increase vascular smooth muscle (VSM) adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP), respectively. Uterine (UA) and systemic arteries (SA) from pregnant (P) and nonpregnant (NP) sheep were incubated with isobutylmethylxanthine. Basal PGI2, cAMP, and cGMP production was 2.4- , 1.6-, and 5.9-fold greater (P < 0.01) in UA from P vs. NP sheep; endothelium removal lowered (P < 0.05) values 69, 44, and 88%. Basal SA PGI2 and cAMP, but not cGMP, also were elevated by pregnancy. Indomethacin (Indo; 100 μM) decreased PGI2 and cAMP, but not cGMP production; N(ω)-nitro-L- arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 10 μM) and methylene blue (MB, 10 μM) only decreased cGMP. Basal UA, but not SA, NO synthase activity (conversion of [3H]arginine to [3H]citrulline), was 1.8-fold higher in pregnancy and decreased (P < 0.01) after endothelium removal and with L-NAME. ANG II (50 nM) increased PGI2 (86%) and cAMP (56%) production only in UA from P sheep (P < 0.05); this was abolished by endothelium removal or Indo. ANG II also increased (P < 0.01) cGMP production by UA from both groups but only by SA from P ewes; this was absent in denuded, L-NAME-, or MB-treated vessels. Stimulation of VSM cGMP production with sodium nitroprusside (50 μM) was inhibited by MB, but not L-NAME or endothelium removal. In pregnancy, endothelial PGI2 and NO production are enhanced and may contribute to attenuated ANG II vasoconstriction via VSM cAMP and cGMP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1914-H1923
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 39-6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • adenylate cyclase
  • guanylate cyclase
  • ovine
  • pressor responses
  • uterine blood flow
  • vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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