Mechanisms of stimulation of pulmonary prostacyclin synthesis at birth

C. W. Leffler, J. R. Hessler, R. S. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In order to investigate the mechanism behind ventilation-induced pulmonary prostacyclin production at birth, chloralose anesthetized, exteriorized, fetal lambs were ventilated with a gas mixture that did not change blood gases (fetal gas) and unventilated fetal lungs were perfused with blood containing increased O2 and decreased CO2. Ventilation with fetal gas (3%O2, 5%CO2) increased net pulmonary prostacyclin (as 6-keto-PGF production from -5.1 ± 4.4 to +12.6 ± 7.6 ng/kg·min. When ventilation was stopped, net pulmonary prostacyclin production returned to nondetectable levels. Ventilation with gas mixtures which increased pulmonary venous PO2 and decreased PO2 also stimulated pulmonary prostacyclin production, but did not have greater effects than did ventilation with fetal gas. In order to determine if increasing PO2 or decreasing PCO2 could stimulate pulmonary prostacyclin production independently from ventilation, unventilated fetal lamb lungs were perfused with blood that had PO2 and PCO2 similar to fetal blood, blood with elevated O2, and blood that had PO2 and PCO2 values similar to arterial blood of newborn animals. Neither increased O2 nor decreased CO2 in the blood perfusing the lungs stimulated pulmonary prostacyclin synthesis. We conclude that the mechanism responsible for the stimulation of pulmonary prostacyclin with the onset of ventilation at birth is tissue stress during establishment of gaseous ventilation and rhythmic ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-887
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1984
Externally publishedYes


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