Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
1. Endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is an extremely labile mediator thought to be identical to nitric oxide (NO).2. A cascade superfusion technique was used to bioassay EDRF released from bovine aortic endothelial cells grown to confluence on microcarrier beads.3. Bradykinin (1–100 nmol/1), infused through a 1 cm column of endothelial cells on microcarriers, released an EDRF-like substance that caused relaxations of de-endothelialized strips of rabbit aorta (precontracted with phenylephrine). These relaxations diminished on successive tissues in the cascade, when compared with those produced by glyceryl trinitrate as a stable standard.4. Haemoglobin (1 μmol/1), infused directly over the bioassay tissues, abolished bradykinin-induced relaxations and these were restored within 5 min after removal of haemoglobin. The infusion did not affect the relaxations produced by glyceryl trinitrate in this system.5. Methylene blue (20 μmol/1) inhibited bradykinin-induced relaxations when infused over the rabbit aortae, and reduced those relaxations produced by glyceryl trinitrate. The effects of bradykinin, but not glyceryl trinitrate, were partially restored after removing methylene blue.6. These data are consistent with the known effects of these compounds on the activity of NO, and on EDRF in isolated blood vessels.7. The activity of EDRF (released by bradykinin) was compared directly with NO on strips of guinea-pig trachea (de-epithelialized) interposed in cascade between two rabbit aortae; all strips were precontracted with histamine and phenylephrine.8. A submaximal dose of NO that matched the relaxation produced by EDRF on the uppermost aorta, caused relaxation of the trachea, but EDRF had no effect on this tissue. In addition, the NO-induced relaxation of the lower aorta was greater than that produced by EDRF.9. These data indicate that EDRF does not have identical biological activity to NO. EDRF could contain an NO moiety attached to a carrier molecule that is bound and stabilized in tracheal tissue.
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