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MHR: Basic science of reprod. Medicine
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 507 - 512

Regulation of myometrial contractivity during pregnancy in the rat: potential role for DDAH

E Ito, S Obayashi, A Nagai, M Imamura and H. Azuma    

Abstract:

There has been little information demonstrating the roles of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), which is the hydrolyzing enzyme of endogenous nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and, in turn, modulates the intracellular concentrations of NOS inhibitors, in the myometrium during the course of pregnancy. Therefore, the present experiments were designed to investigate whether or not DDAH activity, protein and mRNA expression levels are altered during gestation of the rat and, if altered, those changes reflect on the levels of endogenous inhibitors and endothelin-1 (ET-1), and NO-dependent cyclic GMP generation in the myometrium. The up-regulated changes in DDAH activity, DDAH-2 protein and DDAH-2 mRNA expression at mid-gestation were accompanied by the reduced monomethylarginine and asymmetric dimethylarginine as NOS inhibitors, and ET-1 levels, and by the enhanced NO-dependent cyclic GMP production. At term gestation, on the other hand, down-regulated changes in DDAH activity, DDAH-2 protein and DDAH-2 mRNA expression were accompanied by the increased NOS inhibitors and ET-1 levels, and decreased NO-dependent cyclic GMP generation. These results suggest that alterations in DDAH/NOS inhibitors/NO-dependent cyclic GMP/ET-1 pathway are possibly involved in maintaining myometrial quiescence during gestation and controlling delivery at term.

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