Hypoxia and carbon monoxide in the vasculature.
ABSTRACT Hypoxia is sensed by all mammalian cells and elicits a variety of adaptive and pathophysiological responses at the molecular and cellular level. For the pulmonary vasculature, hypoxia causes increased vasoconstriction and vessel-wall remodeling. These responses are mediated by complex intracellular cascades leading to altered gene expression and cell-cell interaction. Hypoxia transiently increases the transcriptional rate of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene, resulting in increased production of carbon monoxide (CO) and bilirubin. CO has vasodilatory and antiinflammatory properties in the vasculature, whereas bilirubin is an antioxidant. Both enzymatic products could thus modulate the hypoxic cellular response. Accumulating data suggest that CO inhibits the hypoxic induction of genes encoding vasoconstrictors and smooth muscle cell mitogens in the early hypoxic phase. During chronic hypoxia, low CO levels tilt the balance toward increased production of growth factors and vasoconstrictors that promote vessel-wall remodeling. Mice null in the HO-1 gene manifest decreased tolerance to hypoxia with right ventricular dilatation and infarction, whereas targeted lung overexpression of HO-1 prevents hypoxia-induced inflammatory responses and protects against the development of pulmonary hypertension. Such observations point to CO as a critical modulator of the body's adaptive responses to hypoxia.
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ABSTRACT: Hypoxia is an unremitting stressor at high altitudes that places a premium on oxygen transport by the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Phenotypic plasticity and genotypic adaptation at various steps in the O2 cascade could help offset the effects of hypoxia on cellular O2 supply in high-altitude natives. In this review, we will discuss the unique mechanisms by which ventilation, cardiac output, and blood flow are controlled in high-altitude mammals and birds. Acclimatization to high altitudes leads to some changes in respiratory and cardiovascular control that increase O2 transport in hypoxia (e.g., ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia). However, acclimatization or development in hypoxia can also modify cardiorespiratory control in ways that are maladaptive for O2 transport. Hypoxia responses that arose as short-term solutions to O2 deprivation (e.g., peripheral vasoconstriction) or regional variation in O2 levels in the lungs (i.e., hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction) are detrimental at in chronic high-altitude hypoxia. Evolved changes in cardiorespiratory control have arisen in many high-altitude taxa, including increases in effective ventilation, attenuation of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, and changes in catecholamine sensitivity of the heart and systemic vasculature. Parallel evolution of some of these changes in independent highland lineages supports their adaptive significance. Much less is known about the genomic bases and potential interactive effects of adaptation, acclimatization, developmental plasticity, and trans-generational epigenetic transfer on cardiorespiratory control. Future work to understand these various influences on breathing and circulation in high-altitude natives will help elucidate how complex physiological systems can be pushed to their limits to maintain cellular function in hypoxia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology 10/2014; · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension of the newborn is caused by a spectrum of functional and structural abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary circuit. The existence of multiple etiologies and an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of disease progression have hindered the development of effective therapies. Animal models offer a means of gaining a better understanding of the fundamental basis of the disease. To that effect, a number of experimental animal models are being used to generate pulmonary hypertension in the fetus and newborn. In this review, we compare the mechanisms associated with pulmonary hypertension caused by two such models: in utero ligation of the ductus arteriosus and chronic perinatal hypoxia in sheep fetuses and newborns. In this manner, we make direct comparisons between ductal ligation and chronic hypoxia with respect to the associated mechanisms of disease, since multiple studies have been performed with both models in a single species. We present evidence that the mechanisms associated with pulmonary hypertension are dependent on the type of stress to which the fetus is subjected. Such an analysis allows for a more thorough evaluation of the disease etiology, which can help focus clinical treatments. The final part of the review provides a clinical appraisal of current treatment strategies and lays the foundation for developing individualized therapies that depend on the causative factors.Pulmonary circulation. 12/2013; 3(4):757-80.
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ABSTRACT: Induction of the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) affords cellular protection and suppresses proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) associated with a variety of pathological cardiovascular conditions including myocardial infarction and vascular injury. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Over-expression of Cav3.2 T-type Ca(2+) channels in HEK293 cells raised basal [Ca(2+)]i and increased proliferation as compared with non-transfected cells. Proliferation and [Ca(2+)]i levels were reduced to levels seen in non-transfected cells either by induction of HO-1 or exposure of cells to the HO-1 product, carbon monoxide (CO) (applied as the CO releasing molecule, CORM-3). In the aortic VSMC line A7r5, proliferation was also inhibited by induction of HO-1 or by exposure of cells to CO, and patch-clamp recordings indicated that CO inhibited T-type (as well as L-type) Ca(2+) currents in these cells. Finally, in human saphenous vein smooth muscle cells, proliferation was reduced by T-type channel inhibition or by HO-1 induction or CO exposure. The effects of T-type channel blockade and HO-1 induction were non-additive. Collectively, these data indicate that HO-1 regulates proliferation via CO-mediated inhibition of T-type Ca(2+) channels. This signalling pathway provides a novel means by which proliferation of VSMCs (and other cells) may be regulated therapeutically.Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 04/2014; 467(2). · 4.87 Impact Factor