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Hypertension. 2011 Apr;57(4):825-32. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.168716. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Role of lipoxygenase metabolites of arachidonic acid in enhanced pulmonary artery contractions of female rabbits.

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1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. spfister@mcw.edu

Abstract

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by elevated pulmonary artery pressure and vascular resistance. In women the incidence is 4-fold greater than that in men. Studies suggest that sustained vasoconstriction is a factor in increased vascular resistance. Possible vasoconstrictor mediators include arachidonic acid-derived lipoxygenase (LO) metabolites. Our studies in rabbits showed enhanced endothelium-dependent contractions to arachidonic acid in pulmonary arteries from females compared with males. Because treatment with a nonspecific LO inhibitor reduced contractions in females but not males, the present study identified which LO isoform contributes to sex-specific pulmonary artery vasoconstriction. The 15- and 5- but not 12-LO protein expressions were greater in females. Basal and A23187-stimulated release of 15-, 5-, and 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs) from females and males were measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Only 15-HETE synthesis was greater in females compared with males under both basal and stimulated conditions. Vascular contractions to 15-HETE were enhanced in females compared with males (maximal contraction: 44±6%versus 25±3%). The specific 15-LO inhibitor PD146176 (12 μmol/L) decreased arachidonic acid-induced contractions in females (maximal contraction: 93±4% versus 57±10%). If male pulmonary arteries were incubated with estrogen (1 μmol/L, 18 hours), protein expression of 15-LO and 15-HETE production increased. Mechanisms to explain the increased incidence of pulmonary hypertension in women are not known. Results suggest that the 15-LO pathway is different between females and males and is regulated by estrogen. Understanding this novel sex-specific mechanism may provide insight into the increased incidence of pulmonary hypertension in females.

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