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Expression Patterns of Endothelial and Inducible Nitric Oxide Isoforms in the Porcine Umbilical Cord

Chruściel, M., Andronowska, A., Postek, A.
Reproduction in domestic animals 2009 v.44 no.4 pp. 621-630
Western blotting, blood flow, blood pressure, fetal death, fetal development, growth and development, immune response, nitric oxide, nitric oxide synthase, pregnancy, smooth muscle, swine, umbilical cord
Stable fetal-placental blood pressure and flow are extremely important in fetal growth and development. Uncontrolled and long-standing increased or decreased vascular blood pressure in the umbilical cord (UC) affects hyperaemia or ischaemia and consequently causes fetal death. Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most active factors controlling blood flow through relaxation of the vascular smooth muscle. In this study, we investigated endothelial (eNOS) and inducible (iNOS) nitric oxide synthase expression and NADPH-diaphorase activity (NADPH-d) in the porcine UC at various stages of pregnancy. The UCs were collected from pigs on days 40, 60, 75 and 90 of pregnancy and postpartum. Western blot analysis as well as immunohistchemical staining revealed protein presence for eNOS and iNOS in the UC of the pig. The eNOS expression was maintained at a significantly higher level in all analysed days of pregnancy when compared with postnatal stage. Additionally, a significant protein increase for eNOS was observed in a periplacental part of UC on day 90. There were no obvious differences in iNOS protein level in UC samples derived from different stages of pregnancy. NADPH-diaphorase histochemical activity was correlated with NOS immunoreactivity during all analysed days of pregnancy. These results suggest that NOS isoforms are responsible for regulation of blood circulation in UC and immune responses.