We postulated that vascular phosphoinositide metabolism is attenuated during pregnancy, and thereby could contribute to maternal vasodilation and reduced vascular reactivity. The basal rate of incorporation of [3H]myo-inositol and [3H]glycerol into phosphoinositides of aortae from pregnant rats in vitro was significantly reduced, when compared with vessels from virgin animals. After injection of [3H]myo-inositol intravenously into chronically instrumented conscious pregnant and virgin rats, the incorporation of the label by phosphatidylinositol was 66 +/- 4% less in aortae of gravid versus virgin animals (P less than 0.001), despite comparable plasma concentrations of radioactivity. Fold stimulation of total [3H]inositol phosphates by arginine vasopressin, norepinephrine, and angiotensin II over a 15-min period was not different between aortic segments from virgin and gravid rats, although both absolute basal and stimulated levels were significantly less in vessels from pregnant animals. After 45 s of incubation with 10(-7) M arginine vasopressin, however, the fold-stimulation of [3H]inositol trisplus tetrakisphosphate was reduced in aortae from gravid rats, when compared with vessels from virgin animals (P less than 0.005). By HPLC, greater than 90% of the radioactivity in the [3H]inositol trisplus tetrakisphosphate column fraction after 30 and 60 s of agonist stimulation was [3H]inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate. We further observed that the rate of uptake of [3H]myo-inositol by aortic vasculature obtained from gravid rats was significantly (24%) less than uptake by vessels from virgin animals. Plasma myo-inositol concentrations were not significantly different, but presumably as a consequence of reduced uptake, aortic segments freshly isolated from pregnant rats contained 22 +/- 6% less myo-inositol than vessels from virgin controls as measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (P less than 0.03). We conclude that myo-inositol uptake and content, phosphoinositide turnover, and inositol phosphate production are reduced in aortic vasculature of gravid rats.
K P Conrad, S A Barrera, P A Friedman, V M Schmidt