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J Neurochem. 1981 Mar;36(3):1192-201.

Biosynthesis of prostacyclin in rat cerebral microvessels and the choroid plexus.


Microvessels, predominantly capillaries, were isolated from rat cerebrum by a modification of published procedures. The morphology and purity of the preparations were monitored by light and electron microscopy and by enrichment in alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, and prostacyclin, synthetase. A reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatographic method was used in the purification of prostaglandins after extraction from aqueous incubation solutions. Prostacyclin synthesis in brain is localized in cerebral blood vessels and capillaries. The endogenous biosynthetic capacity of the isolated cerebral capillary fractions for prostacyclin, measured as its chemically stable breakdown product, 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha, was 11 ng/mg protein/10 min. Choroid plexus and intact surface vessels synthesized 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha at 37 and 35 ng/mg protein/10 min, respectively. The prostacyclin-synthesizing enzyme of the cerebral capillaries also converted the exogenously added prostaglandin endoperoxides to 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha. Comparison of the synthesis of prostaglandins 6-keto-F1 alpha, E2, and F2 alpha showed that 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha was the major prostaglandin formed in the microvessels, in the larger surface vessels, and in the choroid plexus. Prostaglandin D2 was not detected. Prostacyclin synthesis by the cerebral vasculature is similar to that in other blood vessels and cultured human endothelial cells. Possible physiological roles or prostacyclin in the cerebral microvasculature are discussed with special regard to the autoregulation of cerebral blood flow.

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