Contribution of different local vascular responses to mid-gestational vasodilation

Joris van Drongelen*, Jeanne Pertijs, Alfons Wouterse, Rob Hermsen, Fred C. G. J. Sweep, Frederik K. Lotgering, Paul Smits, Marc E. A. Spaanderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


At-term pregnancy-induced vasodilation is the resultant of endothelium-dependent vasodilation, decreased myogenic reactivity, increased compliance, and reduced sensitivity to vasoconstrictor agents. We hypothesized that these vascular changes are already present at mid-gestation.In 20 mid-pregnant and 20 nonpregnant Wistar Hannover rats, we measured vascular responses of isolated mesenteric arteries and kidney.In the pregnant rats compared with the nonpregnant rats, mesenteric flow-mediated vasodilation and renal perfusion flow increased 1.52-fold (from 47?5 to 31?4 ?L/min) and 1.13-fold (from 12.8?0.1 to 14.4?0.1 mL/min), respectively. Nitric oxide inhibition reduced mesenteric flow-mediated vasodilation to a similar extent in the pregnant and nonpregnant rats; it completely blocked the pregnancy-induced increase in renal perfusion flow. Pregnancy did not change mesenteric artery sensitivity to phenylephrine, myogenic reactivity, nor vascular compliance.At mid-gestation, alterations in rat mesenteric vascular tone depend primarily on flow-mediated endothelium-dependent changes and not on changes in ?-adrenergic vasoconstrictor sensitivity, myogenic reactivity, or vascular compliance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number155.e12
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • flow-mediated vasodilation
  • mid-pregnancy
  • myogenic reactivity
  • phenylephrine
  • vascular compliance

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