Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a progressive and fatal disease for which Rho-kinase may be substantially involved. In this study, we examined the acute vasodilator effects of fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, in monocrotaline (MCT)-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) in rats. Three weeks after a single subcutaneous injection of MCT (60 mg/kg), hemodynamic variables were measured under conscious and free-moving conditions before and after oral administration of fasudil. MCT caused a significant elevation of mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP). Although a low dose of fasudil (3 mg/kg) had no effect on mPAP, a middle dose (10 mg/kg) caused a significant reduction in mPAP without change in mean systemic arterial pressure (mSAP), and a high dose (30 mg/kg) significantly reduced both mPAP and mSAP. Rho-kinase activity was significantly increased by MCT injection in pulmonary arteries but not in the aorta. Fasudil (10 mg/kg) inhibited only the Rho-kinase activity in pulmonary arteries without any effect in the aorta. Plasma concentration of hydroxyfasudil, a metabolite of fasudil, was within its clinical range in humans. These results demonstrate that fasudil exerts effective and selective vasodilatation of pulmonary arteries in rats with MCT-induced PH at a given dose, suggesting its usefulness for the treatment of the fatal disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine