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Keywords:

  • nitrite;
  • S-nitrosothiols;
  • endothelium;
  • microcirculation;
  • gas transport;
  • vasoactive NO forms

Perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsions can transport and release various gases based on concentration gradients. The objective of this study was to determine the possibility of carrying and delivering exogenous nitric oxide (NO) into the circulation by simply loading PFC emulsion with NO prior infusion. PFC was equilibrated with room air (PFC) or 300 ppm NO (PFC-NO) at atmospheric pressure. Isotonic saline solution was used as a volume control (Saline). PFC and PFC-NO were infused at a dose of 3.5 mL/kg in the hamster window chamber model. Blood chemistry, and systemic and microvascular hemodynamic response were measured. Infusion of PFC preloaded with NO reduced blood pressure, induced microvascular vasodilation and increased capillary perfusion; although these changes lasted less than 30 min post infusion. On the other hand, infusion of PFC (without NO) produced vasoconstriction; however, the vasoconstriction was followed by vasodilatation at 30 min post infusion. Plasma nitrite and nitrate increased 15 min after infusion of NO preloaded PFC compared with PFC, 60 min after infusion nitrite and nitrate were not different, and 90 min after infusion plasma S-nitrosothiols increased in both groups. Infusion of NO preloaded PFC resulted in acute vascular relaxation, where as infusion of PFC (without NO) produced vasoconstriction, potentially due to NO sequestration by the PFC micelles. The late effects of PFC infusion are due to NO redistribution and plasma S-nitrosothiols. Gas solubility in PFC can provide a tool to modulate plasma vasoactive NO forms availability and improve microcirculatory function and promote increased blood flow. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:1565–1572, 2013