A novel method of measuring nitric-oxide-dependent fluorescence using 4,5-diaminofluorescein (DAF-2) in the isolated Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart

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4,5-Diaminofluorescein (DAF-2) has been used to measure nitric oxide (NO) activity from a variety of preparations. The aim of this study was to develop a method to assess changes in NO fluorescence using DAF-2 in isolated rabbit hearts (2.0-2.5 kg, n=8). Hearts were perfused in constant flow Langendorff mode and instrumented to record aortic perfusion pressure, left ventricular pressure and left ventricular epicardial fluorescence using a bifurcated light guide at excitation wavelengths of 470 +/- 10, 480 +/- 10, 490 +/- 10 and 500 +/- 10 nm collected at 535 nm. DAF-2 DA was loaded using a single bolus 150-mu l (1 mu mol) injection. Changes in NO-dependent fluorescence were determined using the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP: 100 mu M), NO-dependent vasodilator bradykinin (BK: 100 mu M) and non-specific NO synthase inhibitor N-G-nitro-L-arginine (LNA: 200 mu M) before and after loading hearts with DAF-2 DA. Before loading, these agents did not alter epicardial fluorescence. After loading, SNP, BK and LNA produced a consistent change in each excitation wavelength. Together, this suggests that change in fluorescence represents changes in the level of NO. SNP and BK increased whilst LNA significantly decreased left ventricular epicardial NO-dependent fluorescence. At the excitation wavelength of 490 nm, SNP and BK increased fluorescence by 104.7 +/- 18.7 mV (1.1 +/- 0.2%) and 150.7 +/- 26.1 mV (1.5 +/- 0.3%) respectively, whilst LNA significantly decreased fluorescence by 90.3 +/- 17.0 mV (-0.9 +/- 0.2%). Changing the rate of aortic perfusion did not alter fluorescence suggesting that changes in aortic perfusion pressure per se do not contribute to the changes in DAF-2 fluorescence seen with SNP, BK or LNA. Our data suggest that DAF-2 DA is a useful fluorescence indicator for measuring NO activity in isolated hearts.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-645
Number of pages11
JournalPfluegers Archiv: European journal of physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • isolated hearts, fluorescence, nitric oxide, DAF-2