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Effects of diabetes and evening primrose oil treatment on responses of aorta, corpus cavernosum and mesenteric vasculature in rats.

Author

Jack AM, Keegan A, Cotter MA, Cameron NE.

Date

9/2002

Journal

Life Sci

Abstract

Diabetes causes endothelial dysfunction, with deleterious effects on nitric oxide (NO) mediated vasodilatation. However, in many vessels other local vasodilators such as endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF), prostacyclin, epoxides or endocannabinoids are also important. Several of these factors may be derived from omega-6 essential fatty acids via arachidonate metabolism. Diabetes inhibits this pathway, a defect that may be bypassed by diets enriched with omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid-containing oils such as evening primrose oil (EPO). The aim was to examine the effects of preventive EPO treatment on endothelium-dependent and neurally mediated vasorelaxation. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin in rats; duration was 8 weeks. Vascular responses were examined in vitro on thoracic aorta, corpus cavernosum and perfused mesenteric bed preparations. Diabetes caused 25% and 35% deficits, respectively, in aorta and corpus cavernosum NO-mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine that were largely unaffected by EPO treatment. Moreover, a 44% reduction in maximum corpus cavernosum vasorelaxation to nitrergic nerve stimulation was not prevented by EPO. However, for the mesenteric vascular bed, a 29% diminution of responses to acetylcholine, mediated by both NO and EDHF, was 84% attenuated by EPO treatment. When the EDHF component was isolated during NO synthase inhibition, a 76% diabetic deficit was noted. This was completely prevented by EPO treatment, which also caused supernormal EDHF responses in nondiabetic rats. EPO treatment prevented the development of deficits in endothelium-dependent relaxation in diabetic rats. Effects were particularly marked on the resistance vessel EDHF system, which may have potential therapeutic relevance for diabetic microvascular complications.

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