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Despite the evidence for a functional role of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of uterine contractility in several species, there is little information about the effects of this gas on the mouse uterus. The aims of this study were to investigate if the NO relaxation pathway is present in mouse pregnant uterus and the relationship with the uterotonic prostaglandins (PGs E and F2α) production. We evaluated the effect of the treatment with a competitive nitric oxide synthase (NOs) inhibitor: NG-monomethyl-L-arginine on the spontaneous contractile activity and prostaglandin production on two different days of pregnancy: second day of pregnancy (preimplantation stage) and on the afternoon of the fifth day of pregnancy (postimplantation stage). We found that only on the fifth day of pregnancy did the inhibitor induce a highly significant isometric developed tension (IDT) and that this effect was maintained throughout the experiment. In order to evaluate if the generation of NO was also different between the two days of pregnancy, NOs activity was measured. Total NOs activity was significantly elevated during the postimplantation stage.
We studied the interaction between the NO and cyclooxygenase (COX) pathways on the fifth day of pregnancy, and the data show no stimulation of PGs production by endogenous NO. In summary, we found that NO participates in the control of uterine contractility on the fifth day (a postimplantation stage) and that in this condition the NO was not able to elicit an increase in PGs production.
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Accepted: July 2, 1998
Received: May 8, 1998
© 1998 Published by Elsevier Inc.