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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

CO modulates pulmonary vascular response to acute hypoxia: relation to endothelin.

Pulmonary intralobar arteries express heme oxygenase (HO)-1 and -2 and release carbon monoxide (CO) during incubation in Krebs buffer. Acute hypoxia elicits isometric tension development (0.77 +/- 0.06 mN/mm) in pulmonary vascular rings treated with 15 micromol/l chromium mesoporphyrin (CrMP), an inhibitor of HO-dependent CO synthesis, but has no effect in untreated vessels. Acute hypoxia also induces contraction of pulmonary vessels taken from rats injected with HO-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN), which decrease pulmonary HO-2 vascular expression and CO release. Hypoxia-induced contraction of vessels treated with CrMP is attenuated (P < 0.05) by endothelium removal, by CO (1-100 micromol/l) in the bathing buffer, and by endothelin-1 (ET-1) receptor blockade with L-754142 (10 micromol/l). CrMP increases ET-1 levels in pulmonary intralobar arteries, particularly during incubation in hypooxygenated media. CrMP also causes a leftward shift in the concentration-response curve to ET-1, which is offset by exogenous CO. In anesthetized rats, pretreatment with CrMP (40 micromol/kg iv) intensifies the elevation of pulmonary artery pressure elicited by breathing a hypoxic gas mixture. However, acute hypoxia does not elicit augmentation of pulmonary arterial pressure in rats pretreated concurrently with CrMP and the ET-1 receptor antagonist L-745142 (15 mg/kg iv). These data suggest that a product of HO activity, most likely CO, inhibits hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction by reducing ET-1 vascular levels and sensitivity.[1]


  1. CO modulates pulmonary vascular response to acute hypoxia: relation to endothelin. Zhang, F., Kaide, J.I., Yang, L., Jiang, H., Quan, S., Kemp, R., Gong, W., Balazy, M., Abraham, N.G., Nasjletti, A. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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