Vasodilator responses to nitric oxide are enhanced in mesenteric arteries of portal hypertensive rats
Abstract. Nitric oxide (NO) is discussed as a mediator of the splanchnic hyperaemia in portal hypertension. We assessed the vasorelaxation by the NO-dependent vasodilator acetylcholine, the NO donor 3-morpholino-sydnonimine (SIN-1) and forskolin, a stimulator of the adenylate cyclase pathway in potassium-preconstricted isolated perfused mesenteric arteries of portal vein-ligated and sham-operated rats. Dilator responses to acetylcholine and SIN-1 were significantly enhanced in vessels of portal vein-ligated rats as compared to sham-operated rats, whereas no difference was found in forskolin-induced vasodilatation. This suggests enhanced reactivity of the vasculature to NO in experimental portal hypertension.