Our objective was to evaluate the role of the nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in rat uterine and cervical contractility at mid- and late gestation. Rings of uterus and cervix from Sprague Dawley rats on day 14 of pregnancy (mid-) and day 21 of pregnancy (late) were equilibrated at 2 g passive tension in organ chambers filled with Krebs-Henseleit solution and bubbled with 5% CO2 in air (37°C, pH approximately 7.4). Rings were treated with an inhibitor of outward potassium current, tetraethylammonium, to activate phasic contractions, and the concentration-response relationships to diethylamine/NO and 8-bromo-cGMP (8-br-cGMP) were assessed. Baseline spontaneous activity was significantly higher at term gestation in both uterine and cervical rings compared with mid-gestation. Spontaneous contractile activity was not apparent in cervical rings from rats in mid-gestation, but was persistent after treatment with tetraethylammonium. Oxyhemoglobin did not affect NO-induced inhibition of activation by tetraethylammonium contractile activity in either cervical or uterine tissues in mid- or late gestation. The 8-br-cGMP concentration- dependently inhibited tetraethylammonium-activated contractions that were more pronounced in uterine tissues compared with cervical tissues in both mid- and late gestation. We concluded that activation of the NO-cGMP pathway inhibits both uterine and cervical smooth muscle contractility. Both tissues demonstrated refractoriness to NO at term.
- Nitric Oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Obstetrics and Gynecology