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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Jun 1;302(11):H2166-77. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00780.2011. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

NADPH oxidase-derived ROS and the regulation of pulmonary vessel tone.

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Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Pulmonary vessel constriction results from an imbalance between vasodilator and vasoconstrictor factors released by the endothelium including nitric oxide, endothelin, prostanoids, and reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS, generated by a variety of enzymatic sources (such as mitochondria and NADPH oxidases, a.k.a. Nox), appear to play a pivotal role in vascular homeostasis, whereas elevated levels effect vascular disease. The pulmonary circulation is very sensitive to changes in the partial pressure of oxygen and differs from the systemic circulation in its response to this change. In fact, the pulmonary vessels contract in response to low oxygen tension, whereas systemic vessels dilate. Growing evidence suggests that ROS production and ROS-related pathways may be key factors that underlie this differential response to oxygen tension. A major emphasis of our laboratory is the role of Nox isozymes in cardiovascular disease. In this review, we will focus our attention on the role of Nox-derived ROS in the control of pulmonary vascular tone.

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