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J Clin Invest. 1978 Nov;62(5):961-70.

Renin-angiotensin system inhibition in conscious dogs during acute hypoxemia. Effects on systemic hemodynamics, regional blood flows, and tissue metabolism.


The role of the renin-angiotensin system in mediating the circulatory and metabolic responses to hypoxia was studied in three groups of conscious dogs that were infused continuously with normal saline, teprotide (10 mug/kg per min), and saralasin (1 mug/kg per min), respectively. Hypoxia was produced by switching from breathing room air to 5 or 8% oxygen-nitrogen mixture. Plasma renin activity increased from 2.3+/-0.4 to 4.9+/-0.8 ng/ml per h during 8% oxygen breathing, and from 2.8+/-0.4 to 8.4+/-1.8 ng/ml per h during 5% oxygen breathing. As expected, cardiac output, heart rate, mean aortic blood pressure, and left ventricular dP/dt and dP/dt/P increased during both 5 and 8% oxygen breathing in the saline-treated dogs; greater increases occurred during the more severe hypoxia. Teprotide and saralasin infusion diminished the hemodynamic responses to 5% oxygen breathing, but did not affect the responses to 8% oxygen breathing significantly. In addition, the increased blood flows to the myocardium, kidneys, adrenals, brain, intercostal muscle, and diaphragm that usually occur during 5% oxygen breathing were reduced by both agents. These agents also reduced the increases in plasma norepinephrine concentration during 5% oxygen breathing, but had no effects on tissue aerobic or anaerobic metabolism. In dogs pretreated with propranolol and phentolamine, administration of teprotide (0.5 mg/kg) during 5% oxygen breathing reduced mean aortic blood pressure and total peripheral vascular resistance, and increased cardiac output and heart rate, but did not affect left ventricular dP/dt, dP/dt/P, and end-diastolic pressure. Simultaneously, renal and myocardial blood flows increased and myocardial oxygen extraction decreased, while myocardial oxygen consumption did not change significantly. These results suggest that the renin-angiotensin system plays an important role in the hemodynamic responses to severe hypoxia. It appears that angiotensin not only exerts a direct vasoconstrictor action, especially upon the coronary and renal circulations, but also potentiates the cardiovascular effects of sympathetic stimulation that occur during severe hypoxia.

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