Systemic and pulmonary vascular reactivity to graded doses of angiotensin I (ANG I), angiotensin II (ANG II), and, as a control, phenylephrine were examined in 14- or 28-day hypoxia-exposed and air control rats. Hypoxic rats exhibited pulmonary hypertension that was reversible on return to room air, but systemic arterial pressure was not altered by hypoxia. Systemic pressor responses to ANG I and ANG II were significantly less in the hypoxic rats than in the control rats at 14 and 28 days but returned to control levels in hypoxic animals that were then returned to room air, demonstrating reversibility of the hypoxia-induced changes in vascular reactivity. Pulmonary pressor responses to ANG I were significantly less at 14 days, whereas responses to ANG II were significantly greater at 28 days, in hypoxic rats than in controls. There were no significant differences in systemic and pulmonary pressor responses to phenylephrine between the hypoxic and air control animals. The altered systemic and pulmonary pressor responsiveness to ANG I and ANG II in hypoxic rats is probably related to mechanisms specific to the renin-angiotensin system, such as inhibition of intrapulmonary angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and down regulation of ANG II receptors in the systemic circulation. Further study is needed to elucidate these mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)