Inhibition of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction by calcium antagonists in isolated rat lungs.
The role of a transmembrane calcium influx in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction was studied in isolated, blood-perfused, rat lungs. We reasoned that, if the influx of extracellular calcium mediated the hypoxic mechanism, pressor responses to alveolar hypoxia (2.5% O2) would be susceptible to inhibition by the calcium antagonists verapamil (2 X 10(-5) to 2 X 10(-1) mM) and SKF 525A (2.6 to 260 mM). Susceptibility of hypoxic pressor responses to inhibition by these calcium antagonists was contrasted to that of pressor responses elicited by the humoral vasoconstrictors angiotensin II(1 or 0.5 mug) and prostaglandin F2alpha (10 myg). Since neither saralasin (0.5 muM), a competitive antagonist of angiotensin II, nor meclofenamate (6.8 muM), an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, depressed hypoxic pressor responses, it was concluded that these humoral transmitters were not directly involved in the hypoxic mechanism, and therefore served as independent reference agonists. The order of susceptibility of pulmonary pressor responses to inhibition by verapamil was hypoxia greater than angiotensin II greater than prostaglandin F2alpha. SKF 525A also reduced pressor responses to hypoxia more readily than those to angiotensin II. The greater inhibition of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction by both calcium antagonists suggested that the hypoxic mechanism was critically dependent on the transmembrane influx of extracellular calcium. Mediation of the hypoxic response by this type of excitation-contraction coupling is consistent with the idea that hypoxia has a direct depolarizing effect on the vascular smooth muscle. It also provides a unifying explanation for inhibition of the hypoxic mechanism by various agents that have depressant or stabilizing actions on membranes in addition to other pharmacological effects.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association