Isoflurane Causes Endothelium-dependent Inhibition of Contractile Responses of Canine Coronary Arteries

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The authors sought to determine if isoflurane would attenuate effects of three different types of vasoconstrictors on isolated segments of canine epicardial coronary arteries removed from healthy dogs. As the endothelium has a major role in regulating epicardial coronary artery tone, and as it modulates the effect of many vasoactive substances, experiments were conducted both on normal rings and on rings whose endothelium had been mechanically removed. In addition, the endothelium is thought to be damaged in human atherosclerosis. Rings were suspended in organ chambers filled with modified Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate solution, aerated with 95% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide, and connected to strain gauges for the measurement of isometric tension. Isoflurane 2.3% (1.5 MAC in the dog) was added to the aerating gas mixture in half the preparations, while the other rings served as control. The vasoconstrictors serotonin, phenylephrine, or prostaglandin F were added in increasing concentrations to the bath solution. In the presence of endothelium, vasoconstrictor evoked contractions were attenuated by isoflurane. Maximal tension generated by prostaglandin F in untreated rings was 114 ± 18% (mean ± SEM) of a reference contraction, while, following isoflurane, it was 46 ± 8% (P < 0.005). In the absence of endothelium, isoflurane attenuated neither prostaglandin F nor serotonin evoked contraction, and had decreased effectiveness against phenylephrine mediated contraction (P < 0.001). It is concluded that isoflurane attenuates vasoconstrictor-evoked contraction of isolated canine epicardial coronary arteries, and that this effect is mediated by the endothelium.

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