Coronary flow reserve in pregnant rats with increased left ventricular afterload
AuthorSongstad, Nils Thomas; Serrano, Maria; Sitras, Vasilis; Johansen, David; Ytrehus, Kirsti; Acharya, Ganesh
Background Coronary flow reserve (CFR) is used as a measure of coronary endothelial function. We investigated the effect of increased afterload on CFR of pregnant and non-pregnant rats. Methods Afterload increase in Wister rats (both pregnant and non-pregnant) was achieved by the infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II) for ~10 days or by subjecting them to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) for ~14 days. Control groups were infused with 0.9% NaCl or had sham surgery, respectively. In pregnant rats, the experiments were performed close to term gestation. Doppler velocity waveforms of the left main coronary artery were recorded using a high resolution ultrasound imaging system (Vevo 770, VisualSonics, Canada) at baseline while the animals were anesthetized with 1.5% inhaled isoflurane, and during maximal coronary dilatation obtained by the inhalation of 3.5% of isoflurane. CFR was calculated as the ratio between the peak coronary flow velocities (CFRpeak) and the velocity-time integrals (CFRVTI) recorded at hyperemia and at baseline. Results CFR could be calculated in 60 of 75 (80%) animals. There were no differences in CFR between intervention and control groups irrespective of whether afterload was increased by Ang II or TAC. In the TAC-study CFRpeak (1.54±0.07 vs 1.85±0.17; p = 0.03) was decreased in pregnant compared to non-pregnant shams. When sham animals from both studies were pooled together both CFRpeak (1.42±0.07 vs 1.86±0.16; p = 0.005) as well as CFRVTI (1.45±0.07 vs 1.78±0.12; p = 0.03) were significantly lower in pregnant rats compared to non-pregnant. Conclusions CFR can be measured non-invasively in rats using Doppler echocardiography and high concentrations of inhaled isoflurane as a coronary vasodilator. In pregnant rats, CFR is reduced close to term. CFR is not affected by increased left ventricular afterload caused by chronic Ang II infusion or TAC.
This article is part of Nils Thomas Songstad's doctoral thesis which is available in Munin at http://hdl.handle.net/10037/6770
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
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