Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) is a reaction of the pulmonary vasculature upon hypoxia, diverting blood flow into ventilated areas to preserve oxygenation. It is impaired in endotoxemia or ARDS. Voltage gated potassium channels have been shown to play a key role in the regulation of HPV. The aim of the study was to identify a voltage gated potassium channel involved in dysregulated HPV during endotoxemia.
Lungs of male C57BL/6 mice with and without endotoxemia (n = 6 ea. group) were analyzed for Kv3.4 gene and protein expression. HPV was examined in isolated perfused lungs of mice with and without endotoxemia and with and without selective Kv3.4 blocker BDS-I (n = 7 ea. group). Pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) and pressure-flow curves were measured during normoxic (FiO 0.21) and hypoxic (FiO 0.01) ventilation. HPV was quantified as the increase in perfusion pressure in response to hypoxia in percent of baseline perfusion pressure (ΔPAP) in the presence and absence of BDS-I.
Kv3.4 gene (3.2 ± 0.5-fold, p < 0.05) and protein (1.5 ± 0.1-fold p < 0.05) expression levels were increased in endotoxemic mouse lungs. Endotoxemia reduced HPV (∆PAP control: 121.2 ± 8.7% vs. LPS 19.5 ± 8.0%, means ± SEM) while inhibition of Kv3.4 with 50 nM BDS-I augmented HPV in endotoxemic but not in control lungs (∆PAP control BDS-I: 116.6 ± 16.0% vs. LPS BDS-I 84.4 ± 18.2%, means ± SEM).
Kv3.4 gene and protein expressions are increased in endotoxemic mouse lungs. Selective inhibition of Kv3.4 augments HPV in lungs of endotoxemic mice, but not in lungs of control mice.