Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase on brain oxygenation in anesthetized rats exposed to hyperbaric oxygen.
Nitric oxide (NO) production is involved in the development of oxygen toxicity of the central nervous system (CNS) since inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) significantly protects animals from hyperbaric oxygen (HBO)-mediated convulsions. One potential mechanism for this protection is that NOS inhibition decreases cerebral O2 delivery thereby limiting the PO2 of brain tissues during hyperoxia. To investigate this hypothesis, anesthetized rats were exposed to 7, 100, and 7% O2 under 3 atm abs for 15-min periods. Cortical blood flow (CBF) and O2 tension were measured with a laser-Doppler flowprobe and an O2 electrode, respectively, with and without pretreatment with the NOS doppler, N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). We found that HBO exposure significantly increased the brain O2 tension whereas changes in CBF were not significant. Compared with control rats, L-NAME administration did not change either brain O2 tension or CBF during the period of the experiment. We conclude that the effects of L-NAME on cortical oxygenation and CBF during HBO exposure in rats do not seem to provide a physiologic explanation for protection from CNS O2 toxicity by the drug.
Zhang, J; Sam, AD; Klitzman, B; Piantadosi, CA
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