Cristina M. Alvira

Publication Details

  • Rho kinase modulates postnatal adaptation of the pulmonary circulation through separate effects on pulmonary artery endothelial and smooth muscle cells AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LUNG CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY Alvira, C. M., Sukovich, D. J., Lyu, S., Cornfield, D. N. 2010; 299 (6): L872-L878

    Abstract:

    At birth, pulmonary vasodilation occurs concomitant with the onset of air-breathing life. Whether and how Rho kinase (ROCK) modulates the perinatal pulmonary vascular tone remains incompletely understood. To more fully characterize the separate and interactive effects of ROCK signaling, we hypothesized that ROCK has discrete effects on both pulmonary artery (PA): 1) endothelial cell (PAEC) nitric oxide (NO) production and contractile state; and 2) smooth muscle cell tone independent of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) activity. To test these hypotheses, NO production and endothelial barrier function were determined in fetal PAEC under baseline hypoxia and following exposure to normoxia with and without treatment with Y-27632, a specific pharmacological inhibitor of ROCK. In acutely instrumented, late-gestation ovine fetuses, eNOS was inhibited by nitro-l-arginine infusion into the left PA (LPA). Subsequently, fetal lambs were mechanically ventilated (MV) with 100% oxygen in the absence (control period) and presence of Y-27632. In PAEC, treatment with Y-27632 had no effect on cytosolic calcium but did increase normoxia-induced NO production. Moreover, acute normoxia increased PAEC barrier function, an effect that was potentiated by Y-27632. In fetal lambs, MV during the control period had no effect on LPA flow. In contrast, MV after Y-27632 increased LPA flow and fetal arterial P(O)? (Pa(O?)) and decreased PA pressure. In conclusion, ROCK activity modulates vascular tone in the perinatal pulmonary circulation via combined effects on PAEC NO production, barrier function, and smooth muscle tone. ROCK inhibition may represent a novel treatment strategy for neonatal pulmonary vascular disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajplung.00199.2010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284941600016

    View details for PubMedID 20709731

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