Age and species dependence of pial arteriolar responses to topical carbon monoxide in vivo.

Research paper by David C DC Holt, Alexander L AL Fedinec, Ashley N AN Vaughn, Charles W CW Leffler

Indexed on: 28 Nov '07Published on: 28 Nov '07Published in: Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)


In newborn pigs, carbon monoxide (CO) contributes to regulation of cerebrovascular circulation. Results from isolated adult cerebral arteries suggest CO may have less dilatory potential in mature animals. However, few data are available on the direct effects of CO on cerebrovascular circulation in vivo except for those from newborn pigs. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that i) rat cerebral arterioles dilate to CO in vivo and ii) CO-induced cerebrovascular dilatory responses are age dependent in pigs. Also, we examined whether the permissive role of nitric oxide in CO-induced dilation observed in piglets is present in older pigs and rats. Experiments used anesthetized newborn, 7-week-old, and juvenile (3- to 4-month-old) pigs and 3- to 4-month-old rats with closed cranial windows and topical applications of CO and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Dilations to SNP were not different at different ages in pigs or between pigs and rats. CO produced pial arteriolar dilations in all groups. Dilation to 10(-5) M CO was reduced in juvenile pigs as compared to newborn and 7-week-old pigs, and tended to less at 10(-6) M CO. Dilations of rat pial arterioles to all concentrations were less than those of newborn and 7-week-old pigs, but not different from those of juvenile pig pial arterioles. In newborn and 7-week-old pigs, l-nitro-arginine (LNA) inhibited the dilation to CO, an effect reversed by a constant background of SNP. In contrast, LNA did not reduce dilation to CO in juvenile pigs or rats. In conclusion, rat pial arterioles like those in piglets dilate to CO in vivo, but there are age and species differences with regard to reactivity and interaction with NO.