To determine whether systemic cardiovascular responses to gram-negative endotoxemia are mediated by nitric oxide, we evaluated time-dependent changes in contractility and hemodynamics in a neonatal sheep model subjected to nitric oxide synthesis inhibition with L-Name (N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester). Four groups were studied: control (C), endotoxin (E), endotoxin L-Name where the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor was given prior to endotoxin (ELN), and a control L-Name group pretreated with L-Name (CLN). The contractility, measured as end-systolic elastance (Ees), increased transiently in the E group and then returned to baseline. In contrast, Ees declined over time in the ELN group. In terms of peripheral hemodynamics, both the E and ELN groups demonstrated significant progressive decreases in blood pressure and vascular resistance. The results of this study suggest that nitric oxide contributes to the newborn contractile response of the heart to endotoxin, but does not appear to mediate the systemic vascular relaxation response.
- Neonatal cardiovascular function
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health