Congratulations: Dr. Bill Jackson on the publication of your paper in the Journal of Physiology
(located at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270192/abstract)
Arterioles in the peripheral microcirculation are exquisitely sensitive to changes in PO2 in their environment: increases in PO2 cause vasoconstriction while decreases in PO2 result in vasodilatation. However, the cell type that senses O2 (the O2 sensor) and the signalling pathway that couples changes in PO2 to changes in arteriolar tone (the mechanism of action) remain unclear. Many (but not all) ex vivo studies of isolated cannulated resistance arteries and large, first-order arterioles support the hypothesis that these vessels are intrinsically sensitive to PO2 with the smooth muscle, endothelial cells, or red blood cells serving as the O2 sensor. However, in situ studies testing these hypotheses in downstream arterioles have failed to find evidence of intrinsic O2 sensitivity, and instead have supported the idea that extravascular cells sense O2. Similarly, ex vivo studies of isolated, cannulated resistance arteries and large first-order arterioles support the hypotheses that O2-dependent inhibition of production of vasodilator cyclooxygenase products or O2-dependent destruction of nitric oxide mediates O2 reactivity of these upstream vessels. In contrast, most in vivo studies of downstream arterioles have disproved these hypotheses, and instead have provided evidence supporting the idea that O2-dependent production of vasoconstrictors mediates arteriolar O2 reactivity, with significant regional heterogeneity in the specific vasoconstrictor involved. Oxygen-induced vasoconstriction may serve as a protective mechanism to reduce the oxidative burden to which a tissue is exposed, a process that is superimposed on top of the local mechanisms which regulate tissue blood flow to meet a tissue's metabolic demand.
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Continue reading the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270192/epdf