Deficiency of antioxidants in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels in the lungs may contribute to pulmonary hypertension, according to a study by researchers from Cleveland Clinic.
During the study, lead researcher Serpil Erzurum analysed the antioxidant activities in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), a fatal disease characterized by progressive increase in pulmonary artery pressure and vascular resistance.
The research team found that the inactivation of these oxidants inside the cell is achieved mainly by the cell's own line of defence against oxidants.
They also found that this process might contribute to low levels of nitric oxide, identified in IPAH and a fundamental component in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.
According to Dr. Erzurum, there is a potential long-term benefit to the care of patients with IPAH due to the study's findings.
"Antioxidant augmentation in patients might be used to increase nitric oxide vasodilator effects, reduce pulmonary artery pressures and potentially improve clinical outcomes," she said.
The findings appear in Clinical and Translational Science.