Kilham’s rat virus (KRV) is a parvovirus commonly known to affect laboratory rats. Qualitative immunohistochemical analysis revealed that aorta isolated from KRV-infected streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic adult rats expressed markedly greater levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) than aorta from KRV-infected controls. In contrast with the prevailing literature, nitric oxide-mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was not blunted by STZ-diabetes, but was comparable to relaxations of aorta from controls. However, with increasing ex vivo duration, a decreased response to acetylcholine was observed in the STZ-diabetic aorta. In addition, whereas contraction responses to phenylephrine were not significantly altered over time in control tissue, aorta from STZ-diabetic rats developed increased tensions. The data suggest that increased iNOS-derived nitric oxide masks expected acetylcholine-mediated relaxation deficits as a result of KRV-infection, and that the deficit is unmasked by iNOS turnover ex vivo.
- diabetes mellitus
- Kilham's rat virus
- inducible nitric oxide synthase
- ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXATION
- CONTRACTILE RESPONSES