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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2004 Oct;287(4):L656-64. Epub 2004 Feb 20.

Attenuation of acute hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in mice by inhibition of Rho-kinase.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research Laboratory, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA. karen.fagan@uchsc.edu

Abstract

RhoA GTPase mediates a variety of cellular responses, including activation of the contractile apparatus, growth, and gene expression. Acute hypoxia activates RhoA and, in turn, its downstream effector, Rho-kinase, and previous studies in rats have suggested a role for Rho/Rho-kinase signaling in both acute and chronically hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. We therefore hypothesized that activation of Rho/Rho-kinase in the pulmonary circulation of mice contributes to acute hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling. In isolated, salt solution-perfused mouse lungs, acute administration of the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (1 x 10(-5) M) attenuated hypoxic vasoconstriction as well as that due to angiotensin II and KCl. Chronic treatment with Y-27632 (30 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) via subcutaneous osmotic pump decreased right ventricular systolic pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy, and neomuscularization of the distal pulmonary vasculature in mice exposed to hypobaric hypoxia for 14 days. Analysis of a small number of proximal pulmonary arteries suggested that Y-27632 treatment reduced the level of phospho-CPI-17, a Rho-kinase target, in hypoxic lungs. We also found that endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein in hypoxic lungs was augmented by Y-27632, suggesting that enhanced nitric oxide production might have played a role in the Y-27632-induced attenuation of chronically hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. In conclusion, Rho/Rho-kinase activation is important in the effects of both acute and chronic hypoxia on the pulmonary circulation of mice, possibly by contributing to both vasoconstriction and vascular remodeling.

PMID:
14977625
DOI:
10.1152/ajplung.00090.2003
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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