The role of cyclic nucleotides in the spontaneous contractility and responsiveness to nitric oxide of the rat uterus at midgestation and term

Yuri P. Vedernikov, Ashu S. Syal, Toshiaki Okawa, Venu Jain, George R. Saade, Robert E. Garfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this investigation was to study the effects of pharmacologic manipulation of cyclic nucleotide levels on the uterine spontaneous contractile activity and responsiveness to nitric oxide in pregnant rats at midgestation and term. STUDY DESIGN: Uterine rings from pregnant rats at midgestation and term were placed in organ chambers for isometric tension recording. Concentration-response curves were obtained for phosphodiesterase and guanylate cyclase inhibitors, membrane-permeable cyclic nucleotide analogs, and forskolin. In addition, the effects of minimal inhibitory concentrations of these agents on the concentration-response relationships for diethylamine nitric oxide (a nitric oxide donor) were studied. RESULTS: Nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitors induced more inhibition of contractions of uterine rings from pregnant rats at term than at midgestation and zaprinast induced less. Inhibitors of guanylate cyclase and membrane-permeable analogs of cyclic guanosine monophosphate were equally effective in tissues from pregnant rats at midgestation and term. All agents attenuated the inhibitory effect of diethylamine nitric oxide at midgestation; however, dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate and papaverine increased the inhibitory effect of diethylamine nitric oxide in tissues from pregnant animals at term. CONCLUSIONS: Cyclic nucleotides modulate both spontaneous and nitric oxide-induced changes in uterine contraction during pregnancy. Application of nonselective inhibitors of phosphodiesterase, as well as membrane-permeable analogs of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, may counteract refractoriness to nitric oxide at term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-619
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Cyclases
  • Cyclic adenosine monophosphate
  • Cyclic guanosine monophosphate
  • Labor
  • Myometrium
  • Nitric oxide
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitors
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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