There is increasing evidence that resting pulmonary vascular tone is mediated by the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factors (EDRF). However, the importance of EDRF release during pulmonary hypertension is unknown. Therefore, in eight newborn lambs we studied the effects of both N omega-nitro-L-arginine (an inhibitor of EDRF synthesis) and L-arginine (a precursor of EDRF synthesis) during pulmonary hypertension induced either by the intravenous infusion of U-46619 (a thromboxane A2 mimic) or by hypoxia. After pretreatment with N omega-nitro-L-arginine, the increases in pulmonary arterial pressure produced by U-46619 (102.0 +/- 34.9% vs. 144.8 +/- 28.6%, P less than 0.05) and by hypoxia (35.6 +/- 17.3% vs. 91.4 +/- 24.8%, P less than 0.05) were significantly augmented. However, after pretreatment with L-arginine, the increases in pulmonary arterial pressure produced by U-46619 (107.0 +/- 21.4% vs. 62.6 +/- 22.6%, P less than 0.05) and hypoxia (44.3 +/- 18.3% vs. 9.2 +/- 11.7%, P less than 0.05) were significantly attenuated. These results suggest that during pulmonary hypertension, EDRF is released to limit the increase in pulmonary arterial pressure and that L-arginine availability becomes rate limiting for further EDRF synthesis and release.
- Copyright © 1992 the American Physiological Society