CAR Selectively Enhances the Pulmonary Vasodilatory Effect of Fasudil in a Microsphere Model of Pulmonary Hypertension

The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal 27 Apr 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18743064-v17-e230404-2022-19



Despite the approval of several medications for pulmonary hypertension, morbidity and mortality are unacceptably high. Systemic hypotension may limit the use of pulmonary hypertension medications.


This study aimed to assess whether the homing peptide CAR (CARSKNKDC) improves the vasodilatory selectivity of fasudil in the pulmonary circulation or systemic circulation in a porcine pulmonary hypertension model.

Materials and Methods:

Pulmonary hypertension (to approximately 2/3-3/4 systemic pressure levels) was induced by chronic and acute administration of microspheres in 3 micro Yucatan pigs (mean weight 19.9 kg, mean age 4.3 months). Fasudil (0.3 mg/kg) was administered without and with CAR (1.5 mg/kg), and the effect on aortic (Ao) and right ventricular (RV) pressure was recorded with indwelling catheters.


Immediately after fasudil administration, there was a decrease in Ao pressure followed by prompt recovery to baseline. The RV pressure decrease was progressive and sustained. Fasudil alone resulted in a 12% decrease in RV pressure, whereas co-administration of CAR with fasudil resulted in a 22% decrease in RV pressure (p < 0.0001). Fasudil alone caused an average decrease of 34% in the RV/Ao pressure ratio, and fasudil + CAR caused an average decrease of 40% in the RV/Ao pressure ratio (p < 0.0001).


The homing peptide CAR selectively enhanced the acute vasodilatory effects of fasudil on the pulmonary vascular bed in a porcine experimental model of pulmonary hypertension.

Keywords: Animal research, CAR, Homing peptide, Fasudil, Pulmonary hypertension, Swine.
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