Adenosine and hypoxic pulmonary vasodilation

J. E. Gottlieb, M. D. Peake, J. T. Sylvester

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We have previously shown that after exposure to an inspired O2 tension <25 Torr, isolated lungs perfused with autologous blood exhibit vasoconstriction followed by dilation. Because adenosine has been implicated as a mediator of hypoxic vasodilation in the systemic circulation and beause the concentration of adenosine in the lung has been shown to increase with hypoxia, we tested the hypothesis that adenosine is the mediator of hypoxic pulmonary vasodilation. We first confirmed that adenosine was a vasodilator in isolated lungs of adult male ferrets. Next we added the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADase), which inactivates adenosine by converting it to inosine, to the perfusate before exposure to one of two levels of hypoxia [inspiratory P(O2) (PI(O2)) 18 or 0 Torr]. In comparison with untreated lungs, the time course of pulmonary arterial pressure at constant flow in lungs treated with ADase (24 mg protein or 6,000 U) was not different; however, when the vessels were constricted at PI(O2) 25 Torr, ADase prevented vasodilator responses to adenosine administered into either the perfusate or the airways, indicating penetration of active ADase into the interstitium. Unless adenosine released endogenously into the interstitium during hypoxia was somehow protected from the ADase which reached the interstitium, these results indicate that hypoxic pulmonary vasodilation was not mediated by adenosine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H541-H547
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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