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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1990 Sep;142(3):619-24.

Perinatal hypoxia increases hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in adult rats recovering from chronic exposure to hypoxia.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Pediatrics, Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia.


The possibility that perinatal exposure to hypoxia influences the pulmonary vasculature in adults was tested. Rats born in a hypoxic environment were kept in hypoxia for an additional week after birth. The rats were then raised in atmospheric air, and when adult, they were compared with the rats born and raised in air. Rats (10 wk old) of both groups were exposed to 10% O2 for 2 wk. They were then studied immediately after the exposure and after 2 wk of recovery from the sojourn in the hypoxic environment. The experience of perinatal hypoxia did not affect mean pulmonary arterial blood pressure, right ventricle weight, or the number of muscularized peripheral pulmonary vessels. During exposure to chronic hypoxia in adulthood, both groups developed pulmonary hypertension, which was not affected by previous perinatal hypoxia. The pulmonary vascular responses to acute hypoxic challenges were studied in the preparation of isolated perfused lungs. In both groups of rats, perinatally hypoxic and normoxic, the acute hypoxic vasoconstriction was attenuated immediately after the exposure of adult animals to chronic hypoxia. However, during the recovery from this hypoxic sojourn, the rats born in hypoxia were significantly more reactive to acute lung hypoxia than all other groups of rats studied. It is concluded that the experience of a short period of perinatal hypoxia did not affect the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension induced in adulthood. It increased, however, the pulmonary vascular reactivity to acute hypoxic stimuli during the period of recovery from a sojourn in the hypoxic environment in adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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