NOC/oFQ activates PKC and generates superoxide to impair hypotensive cerebrovasodilation after hypoxia/ischemia

Med Sci Monit. 2002 Jan;8(1):BR8-BR14.


Background: Previous studies have observed that hypotensive pial artery dilation was blunted following global cerebral ischemia in the piglet. In unrelated studies, superoxide (O-2) contributed to impaired hypotensive cerebrovasodilation following traumatic brain injury in the rat while the opioid nociceptin/orphanin FQ (NOC/oFQ) generated O-2 via activation of protein kinase C in the piglet. This study determined the contribution of NOC/oFQ, PKC activation and O-2 generation in hypoxic ischemic hypotensive cerebrovasodilation impairment.

Material/methods: Anesthetized newborn pigs equipped with a closed cranial window were used. Global cerebral ischemia was produced via elevated intracranial pressure. Hypoxia, via inhalation of nitrogen, decreased PO2 to 34I3 mmHg.

Results: Topical NOC/oFQ (10-10M), the CSF concentration following hypoxia/ischemia, had no effect on pial artery diameter by itself but attenuated hypotension (mean arterial blood pressure decrease of 44I2%) induced pial artery dilation (33I1 vs 19I2%). Coadministration of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (10-7M) or the O-2 scavenger polyethylene glycol superoxide dismutase and catalase (SODCAT) with NOC/oFQ (10-10M) partially prevented hypotensive pial dilation impairment (34I2 vs 28I1% for SODCAT). Hypotensive pial artery dilation was blunted by hypoxia/ischemia but such dilation was partially protected by the NOC/oFQ receptor antagonist [F/G] NOC/oFQ (1-13) NH2 (10-6M), chelerythine or SODCAT (34I1 vs 7I2 vs 21I2% for sham, H/I and H/I + SODCAT, respectively).

Conclusions: These data show that PKC activation and generation of O-2 contributes to hypoxia/ischemia impairment of hypotensive pial artery dilation. These data suggest that NOC/oFQ activates PKC and generates O-2 to impair hypotensive cerebrovasodilation after hypoxia/ischemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Arteries / metabolism
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Female
  • Hypoxia*
  • Ischemia*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Opioid Peptides / metabolism*
  • Opioid Peptides / physiology*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Pressure
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism*
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Opioid Peptides
  • Superoxides
  • nociceptin
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Oxygen