2004 Volume 95 Issue 3 Pages 349-354
Our purpose was to investigate whether the local or systemic factors of pregnancy are associated with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA expression and to determine the inhibitory effects of pharmacological agents that increase cGMP levels in rat myometrium. iNOS mRNA expression was determined in uterine tissues from nonpregnant rats and on day 17 of gestation in the pregnant and non-pregnant uterine horns by RT-PCR. In addition, uterine rings from the pregnant and non-pregnant uterine horns were placed in Krebs-Henseleit solution for isometric recordings of spontaneous contractions. Concentration-inhibition relationships to diethylamine/nitric oxide complex, 8-bromo-cGMP, and the selective phosphodiesterase V inhibitor were obtained. Compared to nonpregnant rats, expression of iNOS mRNA in myometrium increased during pregnancy, which was maximal on day 17, followed by a decrease on day 21 of gestation. Expression of iNOS mRNA at day 17 of gestation was greater in pregnant uterine horns than in nonpregnant ones. Maximal inhibition of phosphodiesterase V and increasing cGMP induced similar inhibition of spontaneous contractions in nonpregnant and pregnant uterine horns, while NO induced less inhibition in the former. The results suggest that the local pregnancy factor is needed for signal transduction from NO to soluble guanylate cyclase at a time when maximal expression of iNOS mRNA is evident.