To test the hypothesis that atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) has a direct vasodilator effect on the pulmonary vasculature that is enhanced in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in the rat, we determined the effects of ANP on mean pulmonary (MPAP) and systemic arterial pressure (MSAP) in intact conscious Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to 10% O2 or room air for 4 wk. Catheters were placed in the pulmonary artery through the right jugular vein by means of a closed-chest technique. MPAP and MSAP were monitored before and after intravenous injections of graded doses of ANP. ANP produced dose-related decreases in MPAP that were greater in the hypoxic group than in air controls. There were no significant between-group differences in the systemic depressor responses to ANP or in the ANP-induced reduction in cardiac output. ANP lowered MPAP significantly in isolated perfused lungs from both hypoxia-adapted and air control rats, and this effect was significantly greater in the hypoxic than the air control lungs. These data indicate that ANP lowers pulmonary arterial pressure in rats with hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, mainly by a direct vasodilator effect on the pulmonary vasculature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)