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Perinatal changes in pulmonary vascular endothelial function.

Wojciak-Stothard, B; Haworth, SG; (2006) Perinatal changes in pulmonary vascular endothelial function. Pharmacol Ther , 109 (1-2) 78 - 91. 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2005.06.016.

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The pulmonary endothelium plays a crucial role in lung development and function during the perinatal period. Its 2 most important functions at this time are to help reduce pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in order to permit the entire cardiac output to pass through the lungs for the first time and to facilitate the clearance of lung fluid. In response to changes in environmental factors such as oxygen tension, blood flow, circulating cytokines, and growth factors, the endothelium synthesizes and/or extracts many vasoactive mediators such as endothelin-1 (ET-1), norepinephrine, angiotensin 1, thromboxane, prostacyclin (PGI(2)), and the endothelial-derived relaxing factor nitric oxide (NO). The endothelium acts as a transducer conveying information about environmental changes to the underlying smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which helps regulate their reactivity and pulmonary vascular tone. The endothelial layer also acts as a barrier, regulating the exchange of fluids and nutrients between blood components and the surrounding tissues. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate the importance of structural and functional changes in the pulmonary endothelium during the perinatal period and explain their role in the regulation of the pulmonary circulation in health and disease. We also highlight signalling pathways of some of the most important endothelium-derived factors and indicate potential targets for pharmacological intervention.

Title:Perinatal changes in pulmonary vascular endothelial function.
Keywords:Animals, Capillary Permeability, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Fetus, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Pregnancy, Pulmonary Circulation
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Medicine (Division of)

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