In contrast to the systemic vasculature, where hypoxia causes vasodilation, pulmonary arteries constrict in response to hypoxia. The mechanisms underlying this unique response have been the subject of investigation for over 50 years, and still remain a topic of great debate. Over the last 20 years, there has emerged a general consensus that both increases in intracellular calcium concentration and changes in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation play key roles in the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia. Controversy exists, however, regarding whether ROS increase or decrease during hypoxia, the source of ROS, and the mechanisms by which changes in ROS might impact intracellular calcium, and vice versa. This review will discuss the mechanisms regulating [Ca2+]i and ROS in PASMCs, and the interaction between ROS and Ca2+ signaling during exposure to acute hypoxia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine