Nitric oxide (NO) in the gut has attracted increasing interest as a regulatory factor for a wide variety of intestinal functions. This study was performed to evaluate some methodological aspects and jejunal sources for NO synthesis. Bench side evaluations and an animal model using chloralose-anaesthetized pigs were used. Immunohistochemistry was performed on samples from pig intestine and direct measurements of intestinal NO formation were performed using intraluminal tonometry. Tonometric measurements were quantitatively accurate and with high reproducibility. A substantial NO formation was assessed which was markedly inhibited by luminal administration of the nonselective NOS inhibitor L-NAME. Intravenous administration of L-NAME also reduced jejunal NO formation but to a lesser extent. Immunohistochemistry revealed staining for the inducible type of NOS in the mucosal surface epithelium whereas endothelial and neuronal subtypes were located in deeper layers of the jejunal wall. The study argues for that the source of jejunal NO production, as measured by intraluminal tonometry, is located in close proximity with the intestinal mucosa. The NOS in this compartment is predominantly of the inducible type.
- Nitric oxide
- Nitric oxide synthase