Bringing down the ROS: A new therapeutic approach for PPHN

Amy L. Firth, Jason X.J. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) experience some relief and therapeutic benefit from current therapies, over 50% have a limited or transient response and significant morbidity. There is no consistency in the best first line treatment throughout hospitals in the United States. Ventilation with high levels of oxygen or inhaled nitric oxide (NO) are typical strategies for improving the extracorporeal membrane oxygen, although they remain unproven to increase survival rates. While oxygen may stimulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NO production dilating the pulmonary vasculature, it also fuels the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS is likely to have counterproductive effects; in addition to stimulating vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and increasing vascular tone, ROS may directly regulate eNOS and NO. The recent article by Farrow and colleagues (3) in AJP-Lung investigates the role of ROS on eNOS. By using recombinant human superoxide dismutase (rhSOD), they observed 1) increased eNOS activity and expression, 2) increased tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), a cofactor critical to the function of eNOS, and 3) a decrease in oxidative stress, in addition to the stimulation of NO production and ultimately pulmonary vasodilatation. The observations they made may be paramount to increasing the survival of infants with PPHN and may lead to an adapted treatment regimen that addresses the pitfalls of current therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L976-L978
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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