Energy state and vasomotor tone in hypoxic pig lungs

P. C. Buescher, D. B. Pearse, R. P. Pillai, M. C. Litt, M. C. Mitchell, J. T. Sylvester

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51 Scopus citations


To evaluate the role of energy state in pulmonary vascular responses to hypoxia, we exposed isolated pig lungs to decreases in inspired P(O2) or increases in perfusate NaCN concentration. Lung energy state was assessed by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy or measurement of adenine nucleotides by high-pressure liquid chromatography in freeze-clamped biopsies. In ventilated lungs, inspired P(O2) of 200 (normoxia), 50 (hypoxia), and 0 Torr (anoxia) did not change adenine nucleotides but resulted in steady-state pulmonary arterial pressure (Ppa) values of 15.5 ± 1.4, 30.3 ± 1.8, and 17.2 ± 1.9 mmHg, respectively, indicating vasoconstriction during hypoxia and reversal of vasoconstriction during anoxia. In degassed lungs, similar changes in Ppa were observed; however, energy state deteriorated during anoxia. An increase in perfusate NaCN concentration from 0 to 0.1 mM progressively increased Ppa and did not alter adenine nucleotides, whereas 1 mM reversed this vasoconstriction and caused deterioration of energy state. These results suggest that 1) pulmonary vasoconstrictor responses to hypoxia or cyanide occurred independently of whole lung energy state, 2) the inability of the pulmonary vasculature to sustain hypoxic vasoconstriction during anoxia might be associated with decreased energy state in some lung compartment, and 3) atelectasis was detrimental to whole lung energy state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1881
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • adenosine 5'-triphosphate
  • anoxia
  • cyanide
  • hypoxia
  • phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • pulmonary arterial pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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