Endothelium-derived relaxing factor modulates platelet aggregation in an in vivo model of recurrent platelet activation.
It has been shown that endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) may inhibit platelet aggregation in vitro through activation of platelet-soluble guanylate cyclase. To assess whether EDRF may also affect platelet function in vivo, intravascular platelet aggregation was initiated by placing an external constrictor around endothelially injured rabbit carotid arteries. Carotid blood flow velocity was measured continuously by a Doppler flow probe placed proximal to the constrictor. After placement of the constrictor, cyclic flow reductions (CFRs), due to recurrent platelet aggregation, developed at the site of the stenosis. After CFRs were observed for 30 minutes, a solution of authentic nitric oxide (NO, n = 10) was infused into the carotid artery via a small catheter placed proximally to the stenosis. Before infusion of NO, CFR frequency averaged 18.3 +/- 2.9 cycles per hour, and CFR severity (lowest carotid blood flow as percentage of baseline values) was 6 +/- 1%. NO completely inhibited CFRs in all animals, as shown by the normal and constant pattern of carotid blood flow (CFR frequency, 0 cycles per hour, p < 0.001; carotid blood flow, 92 +/- 5%, p = NS versus baseline). These effects were transient; CFRs were restored spontaneously within 10 minutes after cessation of NO infusion. After CFRs returned, S-nitroso-cysteine (S-NO-cys), a proposed form of EDRF, was infused into the carotid artery. S-NO-cys also abolished CFRs in all animals but at a significantly lower dose than NO (0.3 +/- 0.1 versus 12 +/- 4 nmol/min). The role of endogenously released EDRF in modulating in vivo platelet function was then tested in additional experiments. In 10 animals, endogenous release of EDRF was stimulated by infusing acetylcholine into the aortic root during CFRs. Infusion of acetylcholine was also associated with a complete inhibition of CFRs, similar to that observed during exogenous infusion of NO or S-NO-cys. These antithrombotic effects of acetylcholine were completely lost when EDRF synthesis was prevented by administration of the L-arginine analogue NG-monomethyl L-arginine (L-NMMA). Furthermore, in six additional rabbits the basal release of EDRF was blocked by L-NMMA after CFRs had been previously abolished with aspirin or the combination of aspirin and ketanserin, a serotonin S2 receptor antagonist. L-NMMA caused restoration of CFRs in all animals, indicating that even the basal release of EDRF is important in modulating platelet reactivity in vivo. Taken together, the data of the present study demonstrate that endogenous EDRF might importantly contribute to the modulation of platelet function in vivo.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association