Effect of aminoguanidine on plasma nitric oxide by-products and blood flow during chronic peritoneal sepsis

K J Alden, S J Motew, A C Sharma, J L Ferguson
Shock 1998, 9 (4): 289-95
We hypothesized that plasma nitric oxide (NO), generated via inducible NO synthase (iNOS) or endothelial constitutive NO synthase and measured via its by-products NO2- and NO3- (NO2- + NO3- = NOx) would increase and remain elevated during chronic peritoneal sepsis. We further hypothesized that treatment with aminoguanidine (AG; 50 mg/kg), a selective iNOS inhibitor, would decrease NO production and alter blood flow. Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to septic and nonseptic groups. Septic rats received an intraperitoneal cecal slurry (200 mg of cecal material/5 mL 5% dextrose-H2O/kg); control rats received sterile 5% dextrose-H2O (5 mL/kg) only. Plasma NOx and hemodynamics were measured 0, 4, 12, 24, and 48 h after sepsis or sham induction. We also examined the effect of AG, an iNOS inhibitor, on plasma NOx levels and tissue blood flow at 24 h. Septic rats uniformly displayed signs of sepsis, including lethargy, piloerection, and diarrhea. NOx levels were significantly elevated compared with controls at 4, 12, 24, and 48 h (p < or = .05). Septic rats also demonstrated hypotension (t = 12, 24, and 48 h) and tachycardia (t = 4, 12, 24, and 48 h). The infusion of AG (50 mg/kg intravenously for 30 min) at 24 h significantly decreased plasma NOx in septic animals. Plasma NOx concentrations returned to basal levels by 90 min after infusion of AG. In addition, blood flow studies demonstrated that AG treatment in nonseptic rats resulted in a significant decrease in blood flow to the stomach, skin, and adipose tissue, whereas AG infusion did not significantly alter the regional perfusion profile in septic animals. Furthermore, treatment with AG did not significantly alter mean arterial pressure in either group; however, nonseptic animals exhibited a decrease in stroke volume, and septic animals demonstrated an increase in heart rate. In contrast to the rise and fall of NOx levels in endotoxemia, this study demonstrates that the initial rise is sustained during 48 h of peritoneal sepsis. This sustained increase in NOx levels in this model correlated with the observable signs of systemic infection and may relate to enhanced iNOS activity. AG infusion demonstrated variable effects on regional tissue blood flow profiles in septic and nonseptic animals and attenuated the increase in plasma NOx levels in septic animals, an index of iNOS activity.

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