Hypoxia can be defined as a reduction in available oxygen, whether in a whole organism or in a tissue or cell. It is a real life cause of pulmonary hypertension in humans both in terms of patients with chronic hypoxic lung disease and people living at high altitude. The effect of hypoxia on the pulmonary vasculature can be described in two ways; Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) (resulting from smooth muscle cell contraction) and pulmonary vascular remodelling (PVR) (resulting from pulmonary vascular cell proliferation). The pulmonary artery is made up of three resident cell types, the endothelial (intima), smooth muscle (media) and fibroblast (adventitia) cells. This review will examine the effects of hypoxia on the cells of the pulmonary vasculature and give an insight into the possible underlying mechanisms.
- hypoxia fibroblasts
- pulmonary circulation
- pulmonary arterial hypertension