Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is common during pregnancy. Fetal exposure to SSRIs is associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), however a direct link between the two has yet to be established. Conversely, it is well known that PPHN can be caused by premature constriction of the ductus arteriosus (DA), a fetal vessel connecting the pulmonary and systemic circulations. We hypothesized that SSRIs could induce in utero DA constriction. Using isolated vessels and whole animal models, we sought to determine the effects of two commonly prescribed SSRIs, fluoxetine and sertraline, on the fetal mouse DA. Cannulated vessel myography studies demonstrated that SSRIs caused concentration-dependent DA constriction and made vessels less sensitive to prostaglandin-induced dilation. Moreover, in vivo studies showed that SSRI-exposed mice had inappropriate DA constriction in utero. Taken together, these findings establish that SSRIs promote fetal DA constriction and provide a potential mechanism by which SSRIs could contribute to PPHN.
- ductus arteriosus
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology