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Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Aug 2;496(1-3):181-7.

Time-dependent reduction of acetylcholine-induced relaxation in corpus cavernosum of cholestatic rats: role of nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase pathway.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 13145-784, Tehran, Iran.


The endothelium-dependent relaxation of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle and the roles of nitric oxide (NO) and arachidonic acid products of cyclooxygenase were investigated in non-operated, SHAM-operated, and bile duct-ligated rats. We further investigated the time-dependent alterations of corpus cavernosum relaxation in 2-, 7-, and 14-day bile duct-ligated animals. Acetylcholine produced concentration-dependent relaxation in phenylephrine-precontracted strips of corpus cavernosum. A significant reduction in the acetylcholine-induced relaxation was observed 2 days after bile duct ligation, and a greater reduction was observed on subsequent days. Incubation with 20 microM indomethacin reduced the acetylcholine-induced relaxation of the corpus cavernosum of unoperated rats while it had no effect in the corpus cavernosum of bile duct-ligated rats. Chronic treatment with Nomega-Nitro-L-Arginine Methyl Ester (L-NAME, 3 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally) reduced the relaxation responses in the unoperated group while it had no effect in the bile duct-ligated group. These results show that acetylcholine-induced corporal relaxation is impaired in cholestatic rats, and this may be related to deficient nitric oxide production by the endothelium. The involvement of prostaglandins in this impairment seems unlikely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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