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The lungs as a generator of prostacyclin


, : The lungs as a generator of prostacyclin. Annales de l'Anesthesiologie Francaise 21(6): 613-620

Under physiological conditions prostacyclin (PGI2) is the main metabolite of arachidonic acid that is generated and released by [cat] lungs. Apparently the generation of PGI2 by lungs is a continuous process and PGI2 is a circulating hormone, the concentration of which is 100-200 pg/ml higher in arterial blood than in mixed venous blood. The generation of PGI2 by lungs can be augmented by angiotensin II, bradykinin and arachidonic acid, provided that low concentrations of the substances are infused into pulmonary artery. Air pulmonary emboli and mechanical hyperventilation stimulate the lungs to generate more PGI2. Respiratory stimulants, such as lobeline or almitrine, are even more effective in this respect. This para-endocrine function of the lung may constitute an important physiological mechanism that protects coronary and cerebral arteries against thrombosis and atherosclerosis. the efficacy of this mechanism can be increased by pharmacological procedures. A link between ventilatory and nonventilatory function of the lungs is proposed. Hyperventilation increases the hormonal function of the lungs, i.e., stimulates PGI2 generation. A link between these functions of the lungs and homeostasis in cardiovascular system is proposed.

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