The aim of this work was to develop a model to study the microcirculation and relative levels of intracellular free calcium in the myometrium of pregnant rats. On Day 21 of gestation a lobe of uterus was prepared free, flipped over, and mounted in a superfusion chamber leaving the radix and thereby the innervation and circulation intact. RBC velocity and arteriolar diameters were determined by means of intravital video microscopy before and after stimulation (norepinephrine). To study intracellular free calcium changes, the fluorescent dye Indo-1 AM was added to the superfusate in the chamber. Fluorescence images were recorded and ratios of the images collected at 400 and 506 nm were calculated and changes thereof were assumed to represent intracellular free calcium changes. RBC velocity and arteriolar diameter did not change for at least 1 h, while the response to norepinephrine was similar at the beginning of the experiment and after 120 min. In four separate interventions, the uterus was challenged with 5 x 10- 4 IU/ml oxytocin, 4.5 mM calcium, 5 X 10-4 IU/ml oxytocin with 4.5 mM calcium, and 5 μM ionomycin, resulting in an increase of the 400/506 nm ratio of 27, 31, 76, and 103%, respectively, representing a relative increase in intracellular free calcium. This novel in vivo model is suitable for monitoring intracellular free calcium changes and to record RBC velocities and blood vessel diameters in the myometrium of pregnant rats. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology