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Placenta. 2002 Sep-Oct;23(8-9):563-9.

Carbon monoxide decreases perfusion pressure in isolated human placenta.

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Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the metabolites formed via heme oxidation catalysed by the enzyme heme oxygenase (HO). Endogenous formation of CO, mediated by HO, has been noted in both placental and umbilical vessels. In blood vessels from different mammalian sources, it has been proposed that the vasodilator effect of CO is mediated via stimulation of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and consequent increased cGMP formation. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of exogenous CO on placental cotyledon perfusion pressure and to determine the role of sGC in the CO-induced decrease of perfusion pressure using the in vitro human placental perfusion preparation. A thromboxane A2 mimetic (U46619) was added to the foetal perfusion medium to constrict the placental blood vessels. Carbon monoxide was added to the foetal perfusion medium in increasing concentrations to determine its effect on placental perfusion pressure. Carbon monoxide produced a concentration-dependent decrease in placental perfusion pressure. The addition of ODQ, a sGC inhibitor, attenuated the CO-induced decrease in placental perfusion pressure, while addition of YC-1, an activator of sGC, augmented the CO-induced decrease in placental perfusion pressure. The data indicate that CO causes vasorelaxation of placental resistance blood vessels, in large part, via activation of sGC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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