Comparison of spectrophotometric and biological assays for nitric oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF): nonspecificity of the diazotization reaction for NO and failure to detect EDRF.

The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

PubMedID: 2319475

Tracey WR, Linden J, Peach MJ, Johns RA. Comparison of spectrophotometric and biological assays for nitric oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF): nonspecificity of the diazotization reaction for NO and failure to detect EDRF. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1990;252(3):922-8.
Endothelium-derived relaxing factor has been tentatively identified as nitric oxide (NO) partially on the basis of chemical assays. In the present study, saline solutions that were either bubbled continuously for 30 min with NO (NO/X) or prepared using 25 ml of NO/ml (NO/25) produced equivalent relaxations of segments of rabbit aorta which had the endothelium removed. NO solutions prepared using 0.1 ml of NO/ml (NO/0.1), and 3 mM sodium nitrite (NO2-) were significantly (P less than .05) less potent vasodilators than NO/X and NO/25 (order of potency: NO/X = NO/25 greater than NO/0.1 greater than NO2-). A novel automated method was developed to monitor nitrogen oxides using continuous-flow spectrophotometric detection (diazotization reaction). The absorbance readings for the solutions were NO/X greater than NO/25 = NO/0.1 = NO2-. Argon purging of NO/X, NO/25 and NO/0.1 solutions significantly (P less than .05) reduced (44-100%) the bioactivity of these solutions in inverse proportion to the initial volume of NO used in their preparation. In contrast, the absorbance values were unchanged, indicating that the chemical assay was not correlated with the bioassay. Varying the duration of NO gassing (1-30 min) significantly (P less than .05) increased the absorbance values, while having no effect on the vascular relaxations, elicited by the solutions. The diazotization assay did not detect nitrogen oxides released from cultured endothelial cells by bradykinin, ATP, or A23187, whereas the bioassay readily detected endothelium-derived relaxing factor release.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)