"The vascular homing peptide named 'CAR' can selectively target hypertensive pulmonary arteries to boost the pulmonary but not systemic effects of vasodilators," said Masahiko Oka of the department of pharmacology and internal medicine and center for lung biology at the University of South Alabama, US.

 "Our results open the door to a new direction of PAH treatment. These findings have high clinical significance because this peptide enables the down-dosing of not only vasodilators but also any PAH drug to reduce its systemic side effects without decreasing its pulmonary efficacy," Oka added. Symptoms of PAH are shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, dizziness, peripheral edema, cyanosis and chest pain.

Till date, the development of more effective vasodilators to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has been hampered because of their systemic toxicity and adverse side effects.

"Additional studies are required to examine if CAR works similarly in human PAH as in the rat model. However, our results open the door to a new direction of PAH treatment and warrant further investigation, added Oka.


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