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Oxygen-Sensitivity and Pulmonary Selectivity of Vasodilators as Potential Drugs for Pulmonary Hypertension

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Current approved therapies for pulmonary hypertension (PH) aim to restore the balance between endothelial mediators in the pulmonary circulation. These drugs may exert vasodilator effects on poorly oxygenated vessels. This may lead to the derivation of blood perfusion towards low ventilated alveoli, i.e., producing ventilation-perfusion mismatch, with detrimental effects on gas exchange. The aim of this study is to analyze the oxygen-sensitivity in vitro of 25 drugs currently used or potentially useful for PH. Additionally, the study analyses the effectiveness of these vasodilators in the pulmonary vs the systemic vessels. Vasodilator responses were recorded in pulmonary arteries (PA) and mesenteric arteries (MA) from rats and in human PA in a wire myograph under different oxygen concentrations. None of the studied drugs showed oxygen selectivity, being equally or more effective as vasodilators under conditions of low oxygen as compared to high oxygen levels. The drugs studied showed low pulmonary selectivity, being equally or more effective as vasodilators in systemic than in PA. A similar behavior was observed for the members within each drug family. In conclusion, none of the drugs showed optimal vasodilator profile, which may limit their therapeutic efficacy in PH.
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Morales-Cano D, Barreira B, Navarro BO, Callejo M, Mondejar-Parreño G, Esquivel-Ruiz S, Lorente JA, Moreno L, Barberá JA, Cogolludo Á, Perez-Vizcaino F. Oxygen-sensitivity and Pulmonary Selectivity of Vasodilators as Potential Drugs for Pulmonary Hypertension. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jan 21;10(2):155. doi: 10.3390/antiox10020155
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