Inhibition of 20-HETE abolishes the myogenic response during NOS antagonism in the ovine fetal pulmonary circulation

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2005 Aug;289(2):L261-7. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00315.2004. Epub 2005 Apr 8.


Mechanisms that maintain high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and oppose vasodilation in the fetal lung are poorly understood. In fetal lambs, increased pulmonary artery pressure evokes a potent vasoconstriction, suggesting that a myogenic response contributes to high PVR in the fetus. In adult systemic circulations, the arachidonic acid metabolite 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) has been shown to modulate the myogenic response, but its role in the fetal lung is unknown. We hypothesized that acute increases in pulmonary artery pressure release 20-HETE, which causes vasoconstriction, or a myogenic response, in the fetal lung. To address this hypothesis, we studied the hemodynamic effects of N-methylsufonyl-12,12-dibromododec-11-enamide (DDMS), a specific inhibitor of 20-HETE production, on the pulmonary vasoconstriction caused by acute compression of the ductus arteriosus (DA) in chronically prepared fetal sheep. An inflatable vascular occluder around the DA was used to increase pulmonary artery pressure under three study conditions: control, after pretreatment with nitro-L-arginine (L-NA; to inhibit shear-stress vasodilation), and after combined treatment with both L-NA and a specific 20-HETE inhibitor, DDMS. We found that DA compression after L-NA treatment increased PVR by 44 +/- 12%. Although intrapulmonary DDMS infusion did not affect basal PVR, DDMS completely abolished the vasoconstrictor response to DA compression in the presence of L-NA (44 +/- 12% vs. 2 +/- 4% change in PVR, L-NA vs. L-NA + DDMS, P < 0.05). We conclude that 20-HETE mediates the myogenic response in the fetal pulmonary circulation and speculate that pharmacological inhibition of 20-HETE might have a therapeutic role in neonatal conditions characterized by pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amides / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ductus Arteriosus / physiopathology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nitroarginine / pharmacology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Artery / cytology
  • Pulmonary Artery / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Artery / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Circulation / drug effects
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology*
  • Sheep
  • Sulfones / pharmacology*
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Amides
  • Drug Combinations
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • Sulfones
  • Nitroarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 20-hydroxy-5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid
  • DDMS
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase