The administration of extracellular, hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers often elicits an acute increase in blood pressure by vasoconstriction. This side effect is now recognized to be due to the depletion of nitric oxide (endothelial-derived relaxing factor) by the extravasuated hemoglobins. We have recently found that the administration of a recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA)-based oxygen carrier involving synthetic tetraphenyporphinatoiron(II) derivative (FeP) (rHSA-FeP) does not induce such hypertensive action, because of its low permeability through the vascular endothelium. The heart rate responses after the rHSA-FeP injection were also negligibly small. Visualization of the intestinal microcirculatory changes clearly revealed the widths of the venule and arteriole to be fairly constant. The entirely synthetic rHSA-FeP becomes a promising material as a new type of red blood cell substitute.
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