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NOS Inhibition

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A Dose-Response Study of Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibition in Different Vascular Beds in Man

Hjorth Lassen L, Klingenberg Iversen H, Olesen J

Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2003;59:499–505

BACKGROUND: Nitric oxide (NO) is an almost ubiquitous messenger molecule and is implicated in several disorders. NG monomethyl L-arginine (L-NMMA:546C88) is an inhibitor of all three NO synthases (NOS), the enzymes that catalyse the production of NO. The present study was performed to evaluate the dose-response relation of L-NMMA to improve the design and interpretation of studies in migraine sufferers and other diseases.

METHODS: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, six healthy volunteers were randomised to receive three different doses of L-NMMA (0.3 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg) or placebo (5% dextrose) intravenously (iv) over 5 min on four different days. On a fifth study day, in an open design, the same subjects received L-NMMA in the dose 6 mg/kg iv over 15 min. The effect of L-NMMA on the maximal mean blood velocity (Vmean) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) (transcranial Doppler), the luminal diameter of the radial artery (high-frequency ultrasound), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate and electrocardiogram were repeatedly followed every 5 min until 60 min after start of the infusion, then every 15 min during the following hour, and at 3 h and 4 h.

RESULTS: Inhibition of NOS had no effect on Vmean in MCA or on the diameter of the radial artery, but MAP increased and heart rate decreased dose dependently. With a dose of 6-mg/kg L-NMMA infused over a 15-min period, the maximum MAP increase was 20% 20 min after the start of L-NMMA infusion. The maximum decrease of heart rate was 24% 15 min after start of the L-NMMA infusion.

CONCLUSION: L-NMMA in a dose that caused marked changes in systemic blood pressure and heart rate had no effect on cerebral and radial arteries in man.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-07-01

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