Enhanced hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in hypertension.
In this study, we tested the hypothesis that hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction may be enhanced in systemic hypertension. The hypothesis took origin from the following two considerations: alveolar hypoxia constricts the pulmonary vessels by enhancing the Ca2+ penetration across sarcolemma of the smooth muscle cells and systemic high blood pressure is associated with an elevation of tone and reactivity of the lung vessels, which seems to depend on an excessive cytosol free Ca2+ concentration due to alterations in sodium handling and in the Na+-Ca2+ exchange system. These considerations suggest the possibility that the disorders in the biochemistry of smooth muscle contraction in hypertension facilitate the rise of cytosol Ca2+ concentration during alveolar hypoxia, thus resulting in a potentiation of the vasoconstrictor properties of this stimulus. In 43 hypertensive and 17 normotensive men, pulmonary arteriolar resistance has been evaluated during air respiration and after 15 minutes of breathing 17%, 15%, and 12% oxygen in nitrogen. Curves relating changes in pulmonary arteriolar resistance to oxygen breathing contents had similar configuration in the two populations but in hypertension were steeper and significantly shifted to the left, reflecting a lower threshold and an enhanced reactivity. This pattern was not related to differences in severity of the hypoxic stimulus, plasma catecholamine concentration, or hypocapnia and respiratory alkalosis induced by hypoxia and probably was not mediated through alpha-receptor activation. Calcium channel blockade with nifedipine was able to almost abolish both the normotensive and the hypertensive pulmonary vasoconstriction reaction. These findings support the hypothesis that hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction may be enhanced in systemic hypertension.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association