The responses of pulmonary and systemic circulation and airway to anaphylactic mediators in anesthetized BALB/c mice

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Anaphylactic shock sometimes accompanies pulmonary vaso- and broncho-constriction. We previously reported the hemodynamic features of mouse anaphylaxis (Life Sci. 2014; 116: 98–105). However, the effects of anaphylactic chemical mediators on the hemodynamics of in vivo mice are not well known. Furthermore, it is uncertain whether the mediators exert the same directional actions. Therefore, we determined their effects systematically on total peripheral resistance (TPR), pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), or airway pressure (AWP) in anesthetized mice.

Main methods:

We measured directly pulmonary arterial pressure, left atrial pressure, systemic arterial pressure, central venous pressure and aortic blood flow to determine PVR and TPR, as well as AWP, following injections of platelet-activating factor (PAF), histamine, serotonin, leukotriene (LT) C4, and prostaglandin (PG) D2 in anesthetized open-chest artificially ventilated BALB/c mice.

Key findings:

Consecutive administration of any agents increased PVR dose-dependently with the maximal responsiveness being PAF > LTC4 > serotonin > > histamine = PGD2. Histamine caused a biphasic PVR response, an initial decrease, which was abolished by L-NAME, followed by an increase at high doses. PAF, serotonin, and histamine decreased TPR dose-dependently, while LTC4 or PGD2 yielded an increase or no change in TPR, respectively. Serotonin, but not the other agents, increased AWP.


Anaphylactic mediators exert non-uniform actions on the pulmonary and systemic circulation and airway in anesthetized BALB/c mice: PAF, LTC4 and serotonin cause substantial pulmonary vasoconstriction, while histamine biphasic responses of the initial nitric oxide dependent vasodilation followed by vasoconstriction; PAF, serotonin, and histamine, but not LTC4 or PGD2, evoke systemic vasodilatation; only serotonin induces airway constriction.

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