Acute and chronic pulmonary and systemic hemodynamic responses to arginine vasopressin (AVP) were examined in 4-wk hypoxia-adapted and air control rats. AVP, administered intravenously as bolus injections or sustained infusions, produced major dose-dependent V1-receptor-mediated reductions in mean pulmonary arterial pressure in hypoxia-adapted rats. These effects were comparable in pentobarbital-anesthetized, thoracotomized animals and in conscious, intact rats. Chronic infusions of AVP induced a sustained reduction in mean pulmonary arterial pressure and partially prevented the development of pulmonary hypertension without changing systemic arterial pressure. AVP induced significant decreases in cardiac output in both groups; the cardiac output response was not significantly different in hypoxia-adapted and air control animals. AVP induced almost no change in MPAP in air control rats. Furthermore the systemic pressor effects of AVP were significantly blunted in hypoxia-adapted rats compared with air controls. We conclude that the pulmonary depressor and blunted systemic pressor effects of AVP observed in hypoxia-adapted rats may be related to release of a vasodilator, such as endothelium-derived relaxing factor, vasodilator prostaglandins, or atrial natriuretic peptides. Further study is needed to elucidate these mechanisms and assess the usefulness of AVP and/or its analogues in the treatment and prevention of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)