Endogenous protection against reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation: role of neuronal versus non-neuronal sources of nitric oxide and species dependence in the rat versus rabbit isolated heart.J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1996 Oct; 28(10):2097-110.JM
Nitric oxide (NO) is an endogenous protectant against reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation (VF) in the rat isolated heart. Here, the following were investigated: (1) the tissue source of cardioprotective NO using a novel inhibitor (7-nitro indazole; 7-NI) of the neuronal form of NO synthase (NOS) and direct detection of coronary effluent NO by chemiluminescence; and (2) the species dependence by comparing rat and rabbit hearts. Perfusion with modified Krebs solution was followed by 60 min left regional ischemia and 10 min reperfusion. 7-NI (1 microM) increased the incidence of VF from 0% to 60% in rat hearts (n = 10; P < 0.05). Co-perfusion with L-arginine (1 mM) reduced VF incidence to 20% (P:N.S. v controls). The inactive analog of 7-NI (6-amino indazole: 6-AI) had no pro-fibrillatory activity. Neither 7-NI nor 6-AI affected coronary flow or recovery of flow during reperfusion. 7-NI reduced basal coronary effluent NO levels to below the limit of detection (< 1 pmol), but a massive increase in NO levels occurred when L-arginine was co-perfused with 7-NI. Although 7-NI had no effect on basal coronary flow and, by implication, resting NO release, it was found, in separate studies, to antagonise substance P-induced vasodilatation and NO release, suggesting that its neuronal selectivity is lost in the presence of an exogenously administered activator of endothelial NOS in rat hearts. In rabbit hearts, in contrast, 7-NI had no effect on VF or NO levels. However, in rabbit hearts the isozyme non-selective NO synthase blocker, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 100 microM), increased VF incidence from 0 to 50% (P < 0.05) and, during the first minute of reperfusion, reduced NO levels from 4929 +/- 893 to 2505 +/- 483 pmol/min/g (P < 0.05) and recovery of coronary flow by 22% (P < 0.05). Each of these effects were prevented by L-arginine co-perfusion. These data indicate a role for basally released NO as an endogenous antifibrillatory cardioprotectant in rat and rabbit isolated heart and indicate that the tissue source (neuronal in rat but not in rabbit heart) is species-dependent.