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The cyclo-oxygenase pathway in the avascular heart of the frog, Rana esculenta L.


A modification of Vane's cascade is reported, allowing the superfusion bioassay of prostaglandin-like substances (PLS) in the outflow of isolated and perfused heart of the frog Rana esculenta L. Using both this technique and radioimmunoassay determination, the cyclo-oxygenase pathway in perfused frog heart has been investigated. Arachidonate (AA) (2-20 micrograms) injected into the perfusing fluid, was transformed by the heart into PLS, as shown by the response of the bioassay tissues (rat stomach strip, chick rectum, rat colon). A compound capable of relaxing rabbit mesenteric artery and a rabbit aorta contracting substance were also generated. The release was inhibited by indomethacin (1.0 X 10(-5)M). Radioimmunoassay determination of PGE2, TXB2 and 6-keto-PGF1 alpha in frog heart effluent, before and after AA injection (20 micrograms), gave the following yields (ng/ml of effluent). Basal: PGE2 = 0.45 +/- 0.15; TXB2 = 0.46 +/- 0.13; 6-keto-PGF1 alpha = 2.21 +/- 0.3. Following AA: PGE2 = 1.55 +/- 0.35; 6-keto-PGF1 alpha = 3.4 +/- 0.4; TXB2 = 1.00 +/- 0.06. Our results suggest that prostacyclin is a major product of the cyclo-oxygenase pathway in frog perfused heart. The biological significance of this finding is discussed in relation to both the absence of a coronary circulation in amphibians and to the spongy nature of frog myocardium.

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