Energy state, pH, and vasomotor tone during hypoxia in precontracted pulmonary and femoral arteries

R. M. Leach, D. W. Sheehan, V. P. Chacko, J. T. Sylvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


To assess effects of smooth muscle energy state and intracellular pH (pH(i)) on pulmonary arterial tone during hypoxia, we measured ATP, phosphocreatine, P(i), and pH by 31P-NMR spectroscopy and isometric tension in phenylephrine-contracted rings of porcine proximal intrapulmonary arteries. Hypoxia caused early transient contraction followed by relaxation and late sustained contraction. Energy state and phi decreased during relaxation and recovered toward control values during late contraction. Femoral arterial rings had higher energy state and lower pH(i) under baseline conditions and did not exhibit late contraction or recovery of energy state and phi during hypoxia. In pulmonary arteries, glucose-free conditions abolished late hypoxic contraction and recovery of energy state and phi, but endothelial denudation abolished only late hypoxic contraction. NaCN had little effect at 0.1 and 1.0 mM but caused marked vasorelaxation and decreases in energy state and phi at 10 mM. These results suggest that 1) regulation of tone, energy state, and pH(i) differed markedly in pulmonary and femoral arterial smooth muscle, 2) hypoxic relaxation was mediated by decreased energy state or pH(i) due to hypoxic inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation, 3) recovery of energy state and pH(i) in hypoxic pulmonary arteries was due to accelerated glycolysis mediated by mechanisms intrinsic to smooth muscle, and 4) late hypoxic contraction in pulmonary arteries was mediated by endothelial factors that required hypoxic recovery of energy state and pH(i) for transduction in smooth muscle or extracellular glucose for production and release by endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L294-L304
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 22-2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Adenosine 5'- triphosphate
  • Cyanide
  • Endothelium
  • Glucose
  • Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
  • Phosphate
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Swine
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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