Author(s): Nwokocha CR, Ajayi IO, Ebeigbe AB
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: In this study, we have examined the possibility that there is altered vascular reactivity due to the direct interaction between parasitized erythrocytes and vascular endothelial cells. METHOD: Ring preparations of rat aorta were studied using standard in vitro techniques, the rings were mounted in 20 ml organ baths containing PSS under an initial load of 1 g, maintained at 37 degrees C at pH 7.4 and isometric contractions were recorded electronically. Rings were allowed 90 minutes to equilibrate before the commencement of the various protocols: Dose responses to phenylephrine (PE) and other vasoactive agents (high-K+). Acetylcholine (Ach)--induced relaxation in phenylephrine-contracted rings (pre-contraction was induced by EC70 concentration of phenylephrine). Ach-induced relaxation in PE-precontracted, endothelium-denuded rings. Also, relaxation responses to acetylcholine was investigated through application of a single. (EC70) concentration of acetylcholine in rings exposed to blood with varying concentrations and dilutions of parasitized blood and varying durations of exposure. RESULTS: Incubation with parasitized blood resulted in a significant increase in maximum contractile response to phenylephrine in the rat aortic rings (p < 0.05) but no effect to the base line. Analysis of the whole dose-response curve (using paired t-test) showed a significant left-ward shift following the addition of parasitized blood (p < 0.05), EC70 (M) values increasing from 7 x 10(-7) to 5 x 10(-6)M. Following exposure to parasitized blood, the magnitude of Ach-induced relaxation responses reduced significantly from 73 +/- 3.6 to 24.75 +/- 7.25\% in rat aortic rings (p < 0.05). Ach relaxations were significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) at 5-minute exposure; however at longer durations, Ach-relaxations were variable and inconsistent. The lesser the dilution, due to increased volume of parasitized blood, the lesser the relaxation response. Following endothelium removal, there was a marked impairment in endothelium-dependent relaxation responses to ACh in both the control and incubated vessels. Exposure to parasitized blood did not significantly alter contractile responses induced by potassium depolarization. CONCLUSIONS: This gives evidence in support of an endothelium-dependent action of malaria parasites as vascular effects of malaria parasites are mediated, at least in part, via endothelium-dependent mechanism(s).
This article was published in West Indian Med J
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants