Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hypertens Pregnancy. 1999;18(1):57-71.

Mechanisms of endothelium-dependent relaxation in myometrial resistance vessels and their alteration in preeclampsia.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, City Hospital, Nottingham, United Kingdom.



To investigate the importance of prostacyclin and nitric oxide synthesis in endothelium-dependent relaxation in myometrial resistance vessels, and to test the hypothesis that a deficiency in nitric oxide synthesis contributes to the known alterations in endothelial function in preeclampsia.


Thirty-six women with normal pregnancies and 14 with preeclampsia had the myometrium biopsied at cesarean section. Resistance arteries were dissected and mounted on a wire myograph. After preconstriction with vasopressin, vessels were treated cumulatively with bradykinin. The process was repeated in the presence of indomethacin and then indomethacin and NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA).


The vessels from women with normal pregnancies showed endothelium-dependent relaxation to bradykinin which was not significantly altered by the presence of indomethacin. The addition of L-NMMA significantly, but only partially, reduced the relaxation to bradykinin in the presence of indomethacin (p = 0.03). The vessels from women with preeclampsia showed markedly reduced relaxation to bradykinin (p < 0.0001), as compared to vessels from normal pregnant women. Relaxation of vessels from women with preeclampsia was increased by the addition of indomethacin (p = 0.03) but was virtually eradicated by the presence of L-NMMA.


Eicosanoid synthesis plays little part in the relaxation of normal pregnant myometrial vessels to bradykinin. Nitric oxide synthesis mediates part but not all of the endothelium-dependent relaxation. In preeclampsia, relaxation to bradykinin is reduced; inhibition of eicosanoid synthesis allows increased relaxation, and nitric oxide synthesis appears to mediate a greater proportion of the relaxation than in normal pregnant women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center