Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation involving cyclic GMP: relaxation induced by nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and light

Blood Vessels. 1991;28(1-3):52-61. doi: 10.1159/000158843.


The characteristics of carbon monoxide (CO)-induced, endothelium-independent relaxation of rabbit aorta were compared with those of nitric oxide (NO)-induced and light-induced relaxation and endothelium-dependent relaxation mediated by endothelium-dependent relaxing factor (EDRF). CO was less than one thousandth as potent as NO as a relaxant. Various findings, including an increase in cyclic GMP associated with CO-induced relaxation, led to the conclusion that CO - like NO, EDRF and light - produces relaxation as a result of its stimulation of guanylate cyclase. LY 83583, which generates superoxide, was a potent, fast-acting inhibitor of acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation and NO-induced relaxation, and a fairly potent, moderately fast-acting inhibitor of photorelaxation, but only a very weak inhibitor of CO-induced relaxation. The ability of LY 83583 as well as hemoglobin to inhibit photorelaxation is consistent with the hypothesis that on radiation a photo-induced relaxing factor is formed which can stimulate guanylate cyclase and which can be inactivated by superoxide and by hemoglobin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aminoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic
  • Carbon Monoxide / pharmacology*
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Light*
  • Nitric Oxide / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / radiation effects


  • Aminoquinolines
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • 6-anilino-5,8-quinolinedione
  • Cyclic GMP