Endothelium-derived relaxing factor in regulation of basal cardiopulmonary and renal function

M. A. Perrella, F. L. Hildebrand, K. B. Margulies, J. C. Burnett

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74 Scopus citations


The endothelium has emerged as an important modulator of vascular tone by producing both vasodilating and vasoconstricting substances. In vitro studies have demonstrated that endothelial cells produce endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), which promotes vasodilation via the stimulation of intracellular guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP). However, the role of EDRF in the basal regulation of cardiopulmonary and renal function is not well defined. The present study was therefore designed to assess the function of EDRF by studying two groups of normal anesthetized dogs, of which one received a competitive inhibitor to EDRF generation, N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA; 50 μg·kg-1·min-1 iv), and the other received a vehicle. The L-NMMA infusion produced no significant increase in mean arterial pressure but marked increases in systemic, pulmonary, and renal vascular resistances compared with the vehicle group. Although renal blood flow decreased with L-NMMA, no changes were observed in glomerular filtration rate or sodium excretion. Associated with the cardiopulmonary and renal responses with L-NMMA was a modest increase in plasma endothelin (7.9 ± 1.3 to 10.2 ± 1.8 pg/ml, P < 0.05), an endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor. No alteration was observed in plasma or urinary cGMP with EDRF inhibition. These cardiopulmonary and renal responses with L-NMMA may be attributed not only to EDRF inhibition but to an imbalance between endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R323-R328
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 30-2
StatePublished - 1991


  • Endothelin
  • N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine
  • Renal excretory function
  • Vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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