Gender differences in hypoxic vascular response of isolated sheep lungs

R. C. Wetzel, J. T. Sylvester

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We compared the steady state stimulus-response relationship of the pulmonary circulation to graded hypoxia in isolated, in situ, blood-perfused lungs of postpubertal male and female sheep and male sheep of similar age that had been castrated within 1 wk of birth. The flow-resistive properties of the pulmonary circuit were assessed by pressure-flow curves generated over a wide range of flows (0-150 body wt-1) at six different levels of inspired oxygen tension (PI(O2)) between 200 and 0 Torr. The stimulus-response relationship was quantitated by determining the pulmonary arterial pressures at a flow of 50 (Ppa50) directly from these curves. We found that this relationship was biphasic, as previously described for other species, with a peak vasoconstrictor response at a PI(O2) = 30 Torr. The isolated lungs of males and castrated males achieved a greater maximal pressor response (Ppa50 = 33 ± 3.7 and 34.5 ± 8 Torr, respectively) than did those of females (Ppa50 = 20.2 ± 5.6 Torr, P < 0.01). When the pulmonary vascular bed was maximally dilated (PI(O2) = 0 Torr), there were no significant differences in the Ppa50 among the groups (Ppa50 = 15.8 ± 4.6 in males, 11 ± 3.5 in females, and 11.5 ± 1.9 Torr in castrated males). There were no differences between males and castrated males at any PI(O2). We conclude that the hypoxic pulmonary vasomotor response was attenuated in isolated lungs of postpubertal female sheep possibly due to the effect of female hormones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology

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