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      Vasodilator Reactivity to Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Is Increased in Mesenteric Arteries of Rats during Early Pregnancy

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          Abstract

          The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of early pregnancy on the sensitivity to, and endogenous production of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Contractile responses of arteries of 10-day pregnant and nonpregnant rats were studied in myographs. During contractions induced by 40 mmol/l K<sup>+</sup>, exogenous CGRP elicited an approximately 30% stronger relaxation in mesenteric arteries in pregnancy, an effect not seen in renal and uterine arteries. Capsaicin treatment during K<sup>+</sup>-induced contractions caused a persistent potentiation of the contractile response in mesenteric arteries, indicating that K<sup>+</sup> stimulates the endogenous release of CGRP. This potentiation was similar in the pregnant and nonpregnant state (+81 ± 23% and +82 ± 23%, respectively), suggesting no effect of pregnancy on the endogenous CGRP release. The latter was paralleled by comparable CGRP content in the arteries of both groups, indicating similar tissue CGRP availability. The results of this study support the concept that early pregnancy is associated with a rise in the vascular sensitivity to CGRP in selected areas of the vascular bed without concomitant increase in the vascular CGRP production and release.

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          Most cited references 2

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          Temporal relationships between hormonal and hemodynamic changes in early human pregnancy.

          The systemic hemodynamic profile of human pregnancy is characterized by a decrease in mean arterial pressure, a rise in cardiac output and plasma volume in association with an increase in renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate. The factors and the time course responsible for the initial hemodynamic changes seen in human pregnancy have not been completely documented. We hypothesize that systemic and renal hemodynamic changes occur early, prior to the presence of the fetal-placental unit. Thirteen women were studied prior to and immediately following conception in identical fashion at gestational weeks 6, 8, 10, 12, 24 and 36. Individuals underwent mean arterial pressure, cardiac output, inulin and PAH clearance determinations. Mean arterial pressure decreased by six weeks gestation (mid follicular 81.5 +/- 2.6 vs. six weeks 68.7 +/- 2.0 mm tig, P < 0.001) in association with a significant increase in cardiac output, a decrease in systemic vascular resistance and an increase in plasma volume. Renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate increased by six weeks gestation. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone concentration increased significantly by six weeks, whereas norepinephrine levels did not change throughout pregnancy. Atrial natriuretic peptide levels increased later, at 12 weeks gestation. Plasma cGMP levels decreased and cGMP clearance increased by six and eight weeks, respectively. Peripheral vasodilation occurs early in pregnancy prior to full placentation in association with renal vasodilation and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Plasma volume expansion occurs early, followed later by increases in ANP concentration, suggesting that ANP increases in response to changes in intravasular volume.
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            Location of Resistance Arteries

            Thickening and narrowing of resistance arteries must, by definition, be key elements in the control of the cardiovascular system. However, the precise location of resistance arteries is difficult to establish. This is due to technical problems related to the small size of the vessels, to the measurement conditions disturbing the hemodynamics, and to the status of the animals while the measurements are being made. Furthermore, due to large data heterogeneity, previous studies do not give unequivocal information concerning the pressure profile in the vascular system, or the level of arterial diameter responsible for blood flow. Finally, and importantly, there is little evidence regarding the conscious state, which is thus a major limitation to understanding the mechanisms of blood distribution and the pathogenesis for disease processes such as genetic hypertension. This review first summarizes briefly the techniques which are available for identifying resistance arteries and the inherent technical limitations which are involved. The review then provides a critical assessment of the available data, both as regards measurement of local blood pressures and as regards control of peripheral resistance. The evidence suggests that, at least as regards rats and other small animals, feed arteries as well as more distal microvessels contribute to the maintenance and regulation of blood flow and resistance. Evidence from larger animals is however lacking, and it is thus unclear if resistance function should be based on arterial diameter or anatomic location. Furthermore, evidence concerning man is not available. We therefore conclude the review with suggestions for future research in this area.
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              JVR
              J Vasc Res
              10.1159/issn.1018-1172
              Journal of Vascular Research
              S. Karger AG
              1018-1172
              1423-0135
              2003
              August 2003
              26 September 2003
              : 40
              : 4
              : 344-350
              Affiliations
              aDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Maastricht, and bDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
              Article
              72698 J Vasc Res 2003;40:344–350
              10.1159/000072698
              12891003
              © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

              Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

              Page count
              Figures: 3, Tables: 2, References: 23, Pages: 7
              Categories
              Research Paper

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