To determine whether chronic hypoxemia secondary to an intracardiac right-to-left shunt alters regulation of the myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor/adenylate cyclase system, we produced chronic hypoxemia in nine newborn lambs by creating right ventricular outflow obstruction and an atrial septal defect. Oxygen saturation was reduced to 65-74% for 2 wk. Eight lambs served as normoxemic controls. beta-receptor density (Bmax) and ligand affinity (KD) were determined with the radio-ligand [125I]iodocyanopindolol and adenylate cyclase activity determined during stimulation with isoproterenol, sodium fluoride (NaF), and forskolin. During chronic hypoxemia, Bmax decreased 45% (hypoxemic, 180.6 +/- 31.5 vs. control, 330.5 +/- 60.1 fmol/mg) in the left ventricle (exposed to hypoxemia alone) but was unchanged in the right ventricle (exposed to hypoxemia and pressure overload). KD was not different from control in either ventricle. Left ventricular isoproterenol-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity was decreased by 39% (30.0 +/- 4.3% increase vs. 44.1 +/- 9.5% increase) whereas right ventricular adenylate cyclase activity was unchanged. Stimulation of adenylate cyclase with NaF or forskolin was not different from control in either ventricle. Circulating epinephrine was increased fourfold whereas circulating and myocardial norepinephrine were unchanged. These data demonstrate a down-regulation of the left ventricular beta-adrenergic receptor/adenylate cyclase system during chronic hypoxemia secondary to an intracardiac right-to-left shunt.
D Bernstein, E Voss, S Huang, R Doshi, C Crane