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PloS one

Effects of cyclic intermittent hypoxia on ET-1 responsiveness and endothelial dysfunction of pulmonary arteries in rats.


PMID 23555567

Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disorders and in some cases is complication of pulmonary hypertension. We simulated OSA by exposing rats to cyclic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) to investigate its effect on pulmonary vascular endothelial dysfunction. Sprague-Dawley Rats were exposed to CIH (FiO2 9% for 1 min, repeated every 2 min for 8 h/day, 7 days/wk for 3 wk), and the pulmonary arteries of normoxia and CIH treated rats were analyzed for expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and ET receptors by histological, immunohistochemical, RT-PCR and Western Blot analyses, as well as for contractility in response to ET-1. In the pulmonary arteries, ET-1 expression was increased, and ET-1 more potently elicited constriction of the pulmonary artery in CIH rats than in normoxic rats. Exposure to CIH induced marked endothelial cell damage associated with a functional decrease of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in the pulmonary artery. Compared with normoxic rats, ETA receptor expression was increased in smooth muscle cells of the CIH rats, while the expression of ETB receptors was decreased in endothelial cells. These results demonstrated endothelium-dependent vasodilation was impaired and the vasoconstrictor responsiveness increased by CIH. The increased responsiveness to ET-1 induced by intermittent hypoxia in pulmonary arteries of rats was due to increased expression of ETA receptors predominantly, meanwhile, decreased expression of ETB receptors in the endothelium may also participate in it.

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