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Early effects of acute gamma-radiation on vascular arterial tone

Bourlier V, Diserbo M, Joyeux M, Ribuot C, Multon E, Gourmelon P, Verdetti J. Br J Pharmacol 1998 Mar;123(6):1168-72

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > radiohematology, irradiation

Research Unit >

Authors > GOURMELON Patrick

Publication Date > 01/03/1998


To determine the acute effects of irradiation on the functionality of vessel, rat aortic rings were mounted in an organ bath for isometric tension measurements and irradiated (60Co, 1 Gy min(-1), 15 min). Irradiation, which is without effect on non-contracted or endothelium-denuded vessels, led to an immediate and reversible increase in vascular tone on (-)-phenylephrine (1 microM)-precontracted aortic rings. The tension reached a plateau about 5 min after the beginning of irradiation. The maximal radiation-induced contraction occurred on aortic rings relaxed by acetylcholine (ACh) (1 microM). In this condition, the addition of catalase (1000 u ml(-1)), which reduces hydrogen peroxide, and DMSO (0.1% v/v), which scavenges hydroxyl radical, had no influence on tension level while superoxide dismutase (SOD) (100 u ml(-1)), a superoxide anion scavenger, reduced the observed contraction. A similar result was obtained in the presence of indomethacin (10 microM), a cyclo-oxygenase blocker. Pretreatment of rings with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (10-100 microM) inhibited the radiation-induced contraction. This effect was dose rate-dependent and even occurred for a very low dose rate (0.06 Gy min(-1)). The present results indicate that gamma-radiation induces an instantaneous vascular tone increase that is endothelium and dose rate-dependent. This effect is (i) maximal when nitric oxide (NO) is produced, (ii) greatly reduced by SOD and (iii) inhibited by L-NAME, suggesting a major involvement of complexes between NO and superoxide anion.
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