AIMS - There are no effective treatments for chronic pulmonary hypertension in infants with cardiopulmonary disorders associated with hypoxia, such as those with chronic lung disease. These patients often have poor or inconsistent pulmonary dilator responses to inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) therapy for unknown reasons. One possible explanation for poor responsiveness to iNO is reduced NO bioavailability caused by interactions between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and NO. Our major aim was to determine if strategies to reduce ROS improve dilator responses to the NO donor, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP), in resistance pulmonary arteries (PRAs) from a newborn piglet model of chronic pulmonary hypertension.
RESULTS - The dilation to SNAP was significantly impaired in PRAs from piglets with chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. ROS scavengers, including cell-permeable and impermeable agents to degrade hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), improved dilation to SNAP in PRAs from chronically hypoxic piglets. Treatment with agents to inhibit nitric oxide synthase and NADPH oxidase, potential enzymatic sources of ROS, also improved dilation to SNAP in PRAs from hypoxic piglets.
INNOVATION - Our studies are the first to utilize a newborn model of chronic pulmonary hypertension to evaluate the impact of a number of potential therapeutic strategies for ROS removal on responses to exogenous NO in the vessels most relevant to the regulation of pulmonary vascular resistance (PRA).
CONCLUSIONS - Strategies aimed at reducing ROS merit further evaluation and consideration as therapeutic approaches to improve responses to iNO in infants with chronic pulmonary hypertension.