Hyperoxia and alkalosis produce pulmonary vasodilation independent of endothelium-derived nitric oxide in newborn lambs

Fineman, J.R.; Wong, J.; Soifer, S.J.

Pediatric Research 33(4 Part 1): 341-346


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-3998
PMID: 8479813
DOI: 10.1203/00006450-199304000-00007
Accession: 008795570

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Supplemental oxygen and alkalosis are the most effective treatments used to lower pulmonary arterial pressure in children with pulmonary hypertensive disorders. However, their mechanisms of action are unknown. Endothelium-derived nitric oxide (EDNO) is an important mediator of pulmonary vascular tone and produces potent pulmonary vasodilation during pulmonary hypertension. In vitro evidence suggests that EDNO may mediate the vasodilating effects of oxygen. To investigate whether EDNO synthesis mediates the pulmonary vasodilation produced by hyperoxia [normocarbic ventilation with 100% oxygen, arterial oxygen tension > 450 torr (60 kPa)] or alkalosis (hyperventilation with 21% oxygen, pH > 7.55) in vivo, eight intact newborn lambs were studied during similar degrees of pulmonary hypertension induced either by the infusion of U46619 (a thromboxane A2 mimic) or N omega-nitro-L-arginine (an inhibitor of EDNO synthesis). The lambs were sedated, paralyzed, and mechanically ventilated. Meclofenamic acid was infused to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. During pulmonary hypertension induced by U46619, pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance were significantly decreased by acetylcholine (an EDNO-dependent vasodilator) (23.1 +/- 3.4% and 43.3 +/- 14.5%, respectively), hyperoxia (26.8 +/- 7.8% and 32.9 +/- 10.6%), and alkalosis (32.1 +/- 10.3% and 36.1 +/- 17.0%) (p < 0.05). During pulmonary hypertension induced by N omega-nitro-L-arginine, the decreases in pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance produced by acetylcholine (9.6 +/- 6.4% and 23.9 +/- 14.1%, respectively) were significantly attenuated (p < 0.05), but the decreases produced by hyperoxia or alkalosis were unchanged. Therefore, hyperoxia and alkalosis can produce pulmonary vasodilation independent of EDNO synthesis in the intact newborn lamb.