Riquelme, Raquel A., Sánchez, Gina, Liberona, Leonal, Sanhueza, Emilia M., Giussani, Dino A., Blanco, Carlos E., Hanson, Mark A. and Llanos, Aníbal J.
Nitric oxide plays a role in the regulation of adrenal blood flow and adrenocorticomedullary functions in the llama fetus
Journal of Physiology, 544, (1), . (doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.018325).
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The hypothesis that nitric oxide plays a key role in the regulation of adrenal blood flow and plasma concentrations of cortisol and catecholamines under basal and hypoxaemic conditions in the llama fetus was tested. At 0.6-0.8 of gestation, 11 llama fetuses were surgically prepared for long-term recording under anaesthesia with vascular and amniotic catheters. Following recovery all fetuses underwent an experimental protocol based on 1 h of normoxaemia, 1 h of hypoxaemia and 1 h of recovery. In nine fetuses, the protocol occurred during fetal I.V. infusion with saline and in five fetuses during fetal I.V. treatment with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME. Adrenal blood flow was determined by the radiolabelled microsphere method during each of the experimental periods during saline infusion and treatment with L-NAME. Treatment with L-NAME during normoxaemia led to a marked fall in adrenal blood flow and a pronounced increase in plasma catecholamine concentrations, but it did not affect plasma ACTH or cortisol levels. In saline-infused fetuses, acute hypoxaemia elicited an increase in adrenal blood flow and in plasma ACTH, cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline concentrations. Treatment with L-NAME did not affect the increase in fetal plasma ACTH, but prevented the increments in adrenal blood flow and in plasma cortisol and adrenaline concentrations during hypoxaemia in the llama fetus. In contrast, L-NAME further enhanced the increase in fetal plasma noradrenaline. These data support the hypothesis that nitric oxide has important roles in the regulation of adrenal blood flow and adrenal corticomedullary functions during normoxaemia and hypoxaemia functions in the late gestation llama fetus.
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