The purpose of this study was to determine whether different regions of the rabbit vascular system show variations in the rate of plasminogen activator (PA) secretion. To start, we evaluated the time course, dose response and adrenergic specificity of PA release. Infusion of 1 μg/kg of epinephrine stimulated a 116 ± 60% (SD) increase in PA activity that peaked 30 to 60 s after epinephrine administration. Infusion of 1 μg/kg of norepinephrine, isoproterenol and phenylephrine had no effect on PA activity. Pretreatment with phentolamine, an alpha adrenergic antagonist, blocked the release of PA by epinephrine while pretreatment with the beta blocker propranolol had no effect. This suggests that PA release in the rabbit was mediated by some form of alpha receptor. Significant arterio-venous differences in basal PA activity were found across the pulmonary and splanchnic vascular beds but not the lower extremity/pelvic bed. After stimulation with epinephrine, PA activity increased 46% across the splanchnic bed while no change was seen across the lower extremity/pelvic bed. We conclude that several vascular beds contribute to circulating PA activity in the rabbit, and that these beds secrete PA at different rates under both basal and stimulated conditions.
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