BACKGROUND: Administration of L-nil, a selective inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), improves ileus in an animal model of resuscitation induced intestinal edema. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the iNOS/nitric oxide (NO) signal transduction pathway in intestinal edema. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into two groups; CONTROL and RESUS+VH (edema, 80 cc/kg normal saline (resuscitation) with mesenteric venous hypertension). iNOS mRNA and protein, iNOS activity, NO tissue levels, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) expression, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels were measured. As a functional endpoint, we evaluated intestinal contractile strength and frequency in L-nil treated animals. RESULTS: Edema was associated with increased iNOS mRNA and protein expression without subsequent increases in iNOS activity or tissue NO levels. There was no significant change in sGC expression or increase in cGMP induced by edema. Administration of L-nil did not decrease edema development or preserve contractile strength, but increased contractile frequency. CONCLUSION: Hydrostatic intestinal edema is not associated with increased iNOS activity or tissue NO levels. Administration of L-nil in edema increases intestinal contractile frequency. This may represent a potential mechanism for the amelioration of ileus seen with the administration of L-nil.
- Nitric Oxide