Ischemic tissues generate nitric oxide (NO) by direct reduction of tissue nitrite under the acidic conditions that occur during ischemia. In view of the important implications of this enzyme-independent mechanism of NO generation on the pathogenesis and treatment of tissue injury, the NO formation in mice subjected to cardiopulmonary arrest was measured and imaged. Real-time measurement of NO generation was performed by detection of naturally generated NO-heme complexes in tissues using L-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. To distinguish NO generated from nitrite, animals were labeled with isotopically enriched 15N-nitrite. Mice were infused with nitrite (70 mg/kg, intravenous), cardiopulmonary arrest induced by an overdose of phenobarbital, and transferred to the EPR resonator. Measurements of NO generation were performed on the intact animal at the levels of the head, thorax, and abdomen. At the end of 3 hr, major organs were isolated and analyzed for their NO signal. The NO complexes were found to have maximum levels in lung, heart, and liver. Three-dimensional spatial mapping of the NO complex in the intact animal subjected to cardiopulmonary arrest was performed using EPR imaging techniques. The images also confirmed the maximum formation in the lungs, heart, and liver. The present data reveal that mice subjected to cardiopulmonary arrest generate large amounts of NO, which is nitrite mediated. The observed signal was largely due to heme-bound NO, which accounted for the high concentrations found in these organs. This increased NO formation during cardiopulmonary arrest could contribute to the difficulty of resuscitation after long periods of arrest.
- EPR imaging
- Heme complex
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology