Microvascular pressure distribution and responses of pulmonary allografts and cheek pouch arterioles in the hamster to oxygen.
Despite extensive investigations of the pulmonary circulation using both in vitro and in vitro preparations, few direct microcirculatory studies have been made. Consequently, the mechanisms involved in the response of the pulmonary microvasculature to changes in oxygen tension remain unclear. The present study represents the first direct observation of the responses in pulmonary microvessels to alterations in oxygen tension. Neonatal lung tissue was transplanted into the hamster cheek pouch using a chamber technique. Both tissues were characterized with respect to their microvascular pressure profile and vascular response to hypoxia. The results showed the two tissues to be remarkably different. Small pulmonary and cheek pouch arterioles exhibited opposite responses to changes in oxygen environment; hypoxia elicited a constriction of pulmonary arterioles, but a dilation of cheek pouch arterioles. Pulmonary capillary pressure, although comparable to that measured in the intact lung (13 mm Hg), was substantially lower than cheek pouch capillary pressure, which was within the range of that described for several systemic vascular beds. The microcirculatory effects of oxygen on both tissues were confined to the arteriolar segments. The characteristics of this pulmonary microcirculation are such that it is a unique model for further physiological and pharmacological studies.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association