Endotoxin alters the systemic disposition of nitric oxide synthase inhibitors in the awake sheep

A. J. Rutten, A. D. Bersten, M. J. Whiting

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    1. We evaluated the haemodynamic effects and systemic disposition of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor N(L)-nitro-L-arginine (NOLA) after intravenous (i.v.) administration of two different doses (5 and 20mg/kg) in awake healthy sheep and awake sheep given a continuous i.v. infusion of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, 12 ng/kg per h, i.v., for 18 h). In addition, we determined the systemic disposition of another NOS inhibitor, N(L)-nitro- L-arginine methylester (L-NAME; 20mg/kg, i.v.) in awake healthy sheep only. 2. N(L)-Nitro-L-arginine produced a dose-dependent decrease in heart rate (HR) and cardiac output (CO) together with a dose-dependent increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and peripheral vascular resistance (PVR) when compared to baseline. In endotoxic sheep NOLA produced a greater increase in MAP and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP). 3. In healthy sheep there was a dose-related increase in total body clearance (CI) of NOLA. The CI increased from 0.028 L/min after the lower dose to 0.032 L/min after the higher dose. The infusion of endotoxin caused an increase in CI of NOLA to 0.040 and 0.047 L/min, respectively, and a decrease in plasma slow half-life (t( 1/4 )) from 825 to 546 min and from 780 to 453 min, respectively. 4. N(L)- Nitro-L-arginine methylester was rapidly cleared from the plasma with a slow half-life of approximately 7.5 min and there was a simultaneous appearance of NOLA in the plasma. 5. These results support the view that nitric oxide has a significant role in regulating vascular tone in healthy and endotoxic sheep and indicate that the increases in CI of NOLA with an increase in its dose and the presence of endotoxin will be important in influencing appropriate dosage regimens in clinical studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-397
    Number of pages7
    JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


    • endotoxin
    • haemodynamics
    • N(L)-nitro- L-arginine
    • N(L)-nitro-L-arginine methylester
    • nitric oxide
    • nitric oxide synthase
    • systemic disposition


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