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Graham B.B.,University of Colorado at Denver | Graham B.B.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | Chabon J.,University of Colorado at Denver | Gebreab L.,University of Colorado at Denver | And 19 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND-: The pathogenic mechanisms underlying pulmonary arterial hypertension resulting from schistosomiasis, one of the most common causes of pulmonary hypertension worldwide, remain unknown. We hypothesized that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling as a consequence of Th2 inflammation is critical for the pathogenesis of this disease. METHODS AND RESULTS-: Mice sensitized and subsequently challenged with Schistosoma mansoni eggs developed pulmonary hypertension associated with an increase in right ventricular systolic pressure, thickening of the pulmonary artery media, and right ventricular hypertrophy. Rho-kinase-dependent vasoconstriction accounted for ≈60% of the increase in right ventricular systolic pressure. The pulmonary vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension were dependent on increased TGF-β signaling, as pharmacological blockade of the TGF-β ligand and receptor, and mice lacking Smad3 were significantly protected from Schistosoma-induced pulmonary hypertension. Blockade of TGF-β signaling also led to a decrease in interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 concentrations, which drive the Th2 responses characteristic of schistosomiasis lung pathology. Lungs of patients with schistosomiasis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension have evidence of TGF-β signaling in their remodeled pulmonary arteries. CONCLUSION-: Experimental S mansoni-induced pulmonary vascular disease relies on canonical TGF-β signaling. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.


Kolosionek E.,University of Kent | Kolosionek E.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | Crosby A.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | Crosby A.,University of Cambridge | And 5 more authors.
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2010

In this article we focus on the pathogenesis and clinical characteristics of schistosomiasis infection on the lung vasculature. Overall, the basic biology and understanding of Schistosoma immune responses and their effect on the cardiopulmonary system is limited in both animal and human models, which hinders clinical care and drug development. The inflammatory response to the eggs in the lung appears to contribute to the remodeling of the pulmonary vessels. Portal hypertension caused by parasitemia also appears to contribute to the development of pathophysiologic alterations of the pulmonary vascular bed. Antischistosomal therapy, praziquantel, used for pulmonary hypertension secondary to schistosomiasis usually has no effect, but it is given to prevent further progression of disease. Currently, there are no clinical trials for the treatment of pulmonary vascular disease secondary to schistosomiasis. Specialty drugs such as phosphodiesterase type 5 or tyrosine kinase inhibitors exhibit some interesting activity, yet are prohibitively expensive, lack safety and efficacy studies in schistosomiasis endemic populations, and tend to be limited by safety, efficacy, route of administration and compliance problems. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.


Qadar Pasha M.A.,Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology | Qadar Pasha M.A.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | Newman J.H.,Vanderbilt University | Newman J.H.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute
Chest | Year: 2010

Globally, it is estimated that > 140 million people live at a high altitude (HA), defined as > 2,500 m (8,200 ft), and that countless others sojourn to the mountains for work, travel, and sport. The distribution of exposure to HA is worldwide, including 35 million in the Andes and > 80 million in Asia, including China and central Asia. HA stress primarily is due to the hypoxia of low atmospheric pressure, but dry air, intense solar radiation, extreme cold, and exercise contribute to acute and chronic disorders. The acute disorders are acute mountain sickness (also known as soroche), HA cerebral edema, and HA pulmonary edema (HAPE). Of these, HAPE is highly correlated with acute pulmonary hypertension. The first chronic syndrome described in HA dwellers in Peru was chronic mountain sickness (Monge disease), which has a large component of relative hypoventilation and secondary erythrocytosis. The prevalence of chronic mountain sickness in HA dwellers ranges from 1.2% in native Tibetans to 5.6% in Chinese Han; 6% to 8% in male residents of La Paz, Bolivia; and 15.6% in the Andes. Subacute mountain sickness is an exaggerated pulmonary hypertensive response to HA hypoxia occurring over months, most often in infants and very young children. Chronic pulmonary hypertension with heart failure but without hypoventilation is seen in Asia. Not only does HA pulmonary hypertension exact health consequences for the millions affected, but also the mechanisms of disease relate to pulmonary hypertension associated with multiple other disorders. Genetic understanding of these disorders is in its infancy. © 2010 American College of Chest Physicians.


Graham B.B.,University of Colorado at Denver | Graham B.B.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | Bandeira A.P.,University of Pernambuco | Bandeira A.P.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
Chest | Year: 2010

Inflammation is likely a critical underlying etiology in many forms of severe pulmonary hypertension (PH), and schistosomiasis-associated PH, one of the most common causes of PH worldwide, is likely driven by the host response to parasite antigens. More than 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, the third most common parasitic disease, and approximately 1% of those chronically infected develop PH. Acute cutaneous infection causes inflammation at the site of parasite penetration followed by a subacute immune complex-mediated hypersensitivity response as the parasite migrates through the lungs. Chronic schistosomiasis infection induces a granulomatous inflammation around ova deposited in the tissue. In particular, Schistosoma mansoni migrates to the portal venous system and causes preportal fibrosis in a subset of individuals and appears to be a prerequisite for PH. Portal hypertension facilitates shunting of ova from the portal system to the pulmonary arterial tree, resulting in localized periovular pulmonary granulomas. The pulmonary vascular remodeling is likely a direct consequence of the host inflammatory response, and portopulmonary hypertension may be a significant contributor. New specific therapies available for PH have not been widely tested in patients with schistosomiasis and often are unavailable for those infected in resource-poor areas of the world where schistosomiasis is endemic. Furthermore, the current PH therapies in general target vasodilation rather than vascular remodeling and inflammation. Further research is needed into the pathogenic mechanism by which this parasitic infection results in pulmonary vascular remodeling and PH, which also may be informative regarding the etiology of other types of PH. © 2010 American College of Chest Physicians.


West J.D.,Vanderbilt University | West J.D.,Vanderbilt Vascular Biology Center | Austin E.D.,Vanderbilt University | Gaskill C.,Vanderbilt University | And 32 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology | Year: 2014

Understanding differences in gene expression that increase risk for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is essential to understanding the molecular basis for disease. Previous studies on patient samples were limited by end-stage disease effects or by use of nonadherent cells, which are not ideal to model vascular cells in vivo. These studies addressed the hypothesis that pathological processes associated with PAH may be identified via a genetic signature common across multiple cell types. Expression array experiments were initially conducted to analyze cell types at different stages of vascular differentiation (mesenchymal stromal and endothelial) derived from PAH patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Molecular pathways that were altered in the PAH cell lines were then compared with those in fibroblasts from 21 patients, including those with idiopathic and heritable PAH. Wnt was identified as a target pathway and was validated in vitro using primary patient mesenchymal and endothelial cells. Taken together, our data suggest that the molecular lesions that cause PAH are present in all cell types evaluated, regardless of origin, and that stimulation of the Wnt signaling pathway was a common molecular defect in both heritable and idiopathic PAH. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.


Fijalkowska I.,Johns Hopkins University | Xu W.,Cleveland Clinic | Comhair S.A.A.,Cleveland Clinic | Janocha A.J.,Cleveland Clinic | And 9 more authors.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2010

Severe pulmonary hypertension is irreversible and often fatal. Abnormal proliferation and resistance to apoptosis of endothelial cells (ECs) and hypertrophy of smooth muscle cells in this disease are linked to decreased mitochondria and preferential energy generation by glycolysis. We hypothesized this metabolic shift of pulmonary hypertensive ECs is due to greater hypoxia inducible-factor1α (HIF-1α) expression caused by low levels of nitric oxide combined with low superoxide dismutase activity. We show that cultured ECs from patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH-ECs) have greater HIF-1α expression and transcriptional activity than controls under normoxia or hypoxia, and pulmonary arteries from affected patients have increased expression of HIF-1α and its target carbonic anhydrase IX. Decreased expression of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in IPAH-ECs paralleled increased HIF-1α levels and small interfering (SI) RNA knockdown of MnSOD, but not of the copper-zinc SOD, increased HIF-1 protein expression and hypoxia response element (HRE)-driven luciferase activity in normoxic ECs. MnSOD siRNA also reduced nitric oxide production in supernatants of IPAH-ECs. Conversely, low levels of a nitric oxide donor reduced HIF-1α expression in normoxic IPAH-ECs. Finally, mitochondria numbers increased in IPAH-ECs with knockdown of HIF-1α. These findings indicate that alterations of nitric oxide and MnSOD contribute to pathological HIF-1α expression and account for lower numbers of mitochondria in IPAH-ECs. Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology.


Butrous G.,Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute
Annals of Thoracic Medicine | Year: 2014

Schistosomiasis is caused by infection with the parasite Schistosoma, which is a flat-worm or fluke. The dominant species are Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma japonicum, and Schistosoma haematobium. Schistosomiasis is the third most common parasitic disease in the world after malaria and amoebiasis. It is endemic in more than 70 countries affecting about 200 million people worldwide, of whom 80% are in sub-Saharan Africa. There are pockets of infection in north-eastern Brazil, near the Yangtze River in China, and some pockets in south East Asia. In the East Mediterranean regions, the Schistosoma have been reported in Iraq and Egypt as well as in Sudan. The latter has the highest infection rate nowadays, particularly in the Al Jazeera area, due to the poor Schistosoma control program. In the Arabian peninsula, schistosomiasis has been reported in southwest part of Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Asir province and Jizan province, which lay in the southwest corner of Saudi Arabia and directly north of the border with Yemen. The efforts to control schistosomiasis have been very successful in Saudi Arabia due to the irrigation system control. However, the infection is prone in Yemen, where the schistosomiasis control is much less strict. Thus as a result, the problem still exists due to transmigration of the populations from both countries. As a cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), schistosomiasis is still under diagnosed and undertreated. This article with give a highlight about the pathophysiology of the disease and both diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

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