Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections are associated with vascular diseases in the human population. We have previously shown vascular dysfunction in systemic and uterine arteries dissected from nonpregnant (NP) mouse CMV (mCMV)-infected mice that was further impaired during late pregnancy (LP). CMV attachment alone through glycoprotein B (GB) can generate signals that impact vascular tone regulation. However, the contribution of direct virus interactions with endothelium to the vascular dysfunction we previously observed after in vivo mCMV infection is not known. We used a pressure myograph system to infuse GB or whole intact mCMV inside arteries dissected from uninfected mice and assessed vasodilation to methacholine infused inside pressurized arteries rather than applied abluminally. These results were compared to those observed after methacholine infusion into untreated arteries dissected from mCMV-infected mice. In mesenteric arteries, vasodilation to infused methacholine did not differ among treatments in NP or LP groups in contrast to previously published studies. However, increased vasoconstrictor activity was unmasked after blocking thromboxane receptors or prostaglandin production. Vasodilation in uterine arteries from uninfected NP mice to infused methacholine was increased by both GB and whole intact mCMV pretreatment. Untreated uterine arteries from mCMV-infected NP mice showed even greater vasodilation. There was no effect of GB or whole intact mCMV pretreatment in uterine arteries from uninfected LP mice, whereas vasodilation to infused methacholine was reduced in untreated uterine arteries from mCMV-infected LP mice. CMV exerts direct effects on vascular function which should be considered during viral reactivation leading to viremia and during GB-based vaccine administration.
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Vol. 87 • No. 4