The literature suggests that platelets might help mediate the pulmonary vascular pressor response to hypoxia. This study evaluated the hypoxic response in dogs rendered acutely thrombocytopenic by the administration of platelet antiserum. Between 30 and 90 min after the antiserum the pulmonary vasoconstrictor response to hypoxia was virtually abolished, but subsequently returned at a time when the number of circulating platelets remained very low. The prior administration of meclofenamate completely preserved the hypoxic response, though the platelet count still fell precipitously. We conclude that circulating platelets are not necessary for hypoxic vasoconstriction. It is possible that the reaction between platelets and antiserum evokes the synthesis of a dilator prostaglandin which might be responsible for the temporary inhibition of the pressor response to hypoxia but this remains to be proven.
- Copyright © 1976 the American Physiological Society