Nitric oxide regulation of corticotropin-releasing hormone release from the human perfused placenta in vitro

C M Roe, I M Leitch, A L Boura, R Smith
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 1996, 81 (2): 763-9
We have investigated the regulatory role of nitric oxide (NO) in corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) release from the human perfused placental lobule in vitro. The effects of the NO donor sodium nitroprusside, the NO synthase inhibitor N omega-nitro-L-arginine, and the NO substrate L-arginine on human (h) placental CRH secretion have been studied. Single lobules of term placentae were bilaterally perfused with Krebs solution (5 mL/min; 95% O2-5% CO2; 37 C; pH 7.3). Fetal and maternal perfusates were collected at 4 C every 30 min for 3 h. CRH immunoreactivity (CRH-IR) in perfusates was measured by RIA using the 41-residue synthetic CRH as standard, 125I-labeled Tyr-hCRH as tracer, and a rabbit anti-CRH antibody Y2BO. The sensitivity of the assay was 0.13 pmol/L. Under basal conditions, human perfused placentae in vitro continuously secreted CRH-IR, which diluted in parallel to a synthetic hCRH-(1-41) standard curve. Size-exclusion chromatography of placental perfusates using a Sephadex G-50 column indicated that placental CRH-IR predominately coeluted with hCRH-(1-41) standard. Basal maternal perfusate CRH-IR levels (27 +/- 4 pmol/L) released from perfused placental lobules were nearly 10-fold greater than fetal perfusate CRH-IR levels (3.4 +/- 0.7 pmol/L; P < 0.05). Infusion of sodium nitroprusside (30-100 mumol/L) into the maternal and fetal placental circulations inhibited CRH-IR release into maternal perfusate in a concentration-dependent manner, but did not inhibit CRH-IR release into the fetal perfusate. N omega-nitro-L-arginine (100 mumol/L) increased placental CRH-IR secretion into fetal perfusate, and this effect was reversed by the infusion of L-arginine (100 mumol/L), which also reduced release below basal levels. In contrast, maternal perfusate CRH-IR levels were not affected by N omega-nitro-L-arginine or L-arginine. These results indicate that the human perfused placenta in vitro releases a substance of similar mol wt and hCRH-IR. Moreover, modulators of the NO signaling pathway differentially affect placental secretion of CRH-IR into the maternal and fetal perfusates. These data are consistent with the involvement of NO in the regulation of placental CRH release during pregnancy.

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