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Endothelium-derived Relaxing Factor From Pulmonary Artery And Vein Possesses Pharmacologic And Chemical Properties Identical To Those Of Nitric Oxide Radical.

L J Ignarro, R E Byrns, G M Buga, K S Wood

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The objective of this study was to elucidate the close similarity in properties between endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) and nitric oxide radical (NO). Whenever possible, a comparison was also made between arterial and venous EDRF. In vascular relaxation experiments, acetylcholine and bradykinin were used as endothelium-dependent relaxants of isolated rings of bovine intrapulmonary artery and vein, respectively, and NO was used to relax endothelium-denuded rings. Oxyhemoglobin produced virtually identical concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on both endothelium-dependent and NO-elicited relaxation. Oxyhemoglobin and oxymyoglobin lowered cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels, increased tone in unrubbed artery and vein, and abolished the marked accumulation of vascular cGMP caused both by endothelium-dependent relaxants and by NO. The marked inhibitory effects of oxyhemoglobin on arterial and venous relaxant responses and cGMP accumulation as well as its contractile effects were abolished or reversed by carbon monoxide. These observations indicate that EDRF and NO possess identical properties in their interactions with oxyhemoproteins. Both EDRF from artery and vein and NO activated purified soluble guanylate cyclase by heme-dependent mechanisms, thereby revealing an additional similarity in heme interactions. Spectrophotometric analysis disclosed that the characteristic shift in the Soret peak for hemoglobin produced by NO was also produced by an endothelium-derived factor released from washed aortic endothelial cells by acetylcholine or A23187. Pyrogallol, via the action of superoxide anion, markedly inhibited the spectral shifts, relaxant effects, and cGMP accumulating actions produced by both EDRF and NO. Superoxide dismutase enhanced the relaxant and cGMP accumulating effects of both EDRF and NO. Thus, EDRF and NO are inactivated by superoxide in a closely similar manner. We conclude, therefore, that EDRF from artery and vein is either NO or a chemically related radical species.