Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary

Boston, MA, United States

Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary

Boston, MA, United States

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Preston I.R.,Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary | Sagliani K.D.,Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary | Warburton R.R.,Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary | Hill N.S.,Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary | Fanburg B.L.,Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary
American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Year: 2013

Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation stimulates systemic vascular and left ventricular remodeling. We hypothesized that MR contributes to pulmonary vascular and right ventricular (RV) remodeling of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We evaluated the efficacy of MR antagonism by spironolactone in two experimental PH models; mouse chronic hypoxia-induced PH (prevention model) and rat monocrotaline-induced PH (prevention and treatment models). Last, the biological function of the MR was analyzed in cultured distal pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). In hypoxic PH mice, spironolactone attenuated the increase in RV systolic pressure, pulmonary arterial muscularization, and RV fibrosis. In rat monocrotaline-induced PH (prevention arm), spironolactone attenuated pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary vascular remodeling. In the established disease (treatment arm), spironolactone decreased RV systolic pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance with no significant effect on histological measures of pulmonary vascular remodeling, or RV fibrosis. Spironolactone decreased RV cardiomyocyte size modestly with no significant effect on RV mass, systemic blood pressure, cardiac output, or body weight, suggesting a predominantly local pulmonary vascular effect. In distal PASMCs, MR was expressed and localized diffusely. Treatment with the MR agonist aldosterone, hypoxia, or platelet-derived growth factor promoted MR translocation to the nucleus, activated MR transcriptional function, and stimulated PASMC proliferation, while spironolactone blocked these effects. In summary, MR is active in distal PASMCs, and its antagonism prevents PASMC proliferation and attenuates experimental PH. These data suggest that MR is involved in the pathogenesis of PH via effects on PASMCs and that MR antagonism may represent a novel therapeutic target for this disease. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.


PubMed | University of Massachusetts Boston, Dartmouth College, Brown University and Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary
Type: | Journal: Current topics in peptide & protein research | Year: 2016

Migration of vascular smooth muscle cells is a key element in remodeling during pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We are observing key alterations in the migratory characteristics of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (HPASMC) isolated from transplanted lungs of subjects with PAH. Using wound migration and barrier removal assays, we demonstrate that the PAH cells migrate under quiescent growth conditions and in the absence of pro-migratory factors such as platelet derived growth factor (PDGF). Under the same conditions, in the absence of PDGF, non-PAH HPASMC show negligible migration. The dysregulated migration initiates, in part, through phosphorylation events signaled through the unstimulated PDGF receptor via focal adhesion kinase (FAK) whose total basal expression and phosphorylation at tyrosine 391 is markedly increased in the PAH cells and is inhibited by a motif mimicking cell-permeable peptide (MMCPP) targeting the Tyr751 region of the PDGF receptor and by imatinib. However, exposure of the PAH cells to PDGF further promotes migration. Inhibition of p21 activated kinases (PAK), LIM kinases (LIMK), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) reduces both the dysregulated and the PDGF-stimulated migration. Immunofluorescence microscopy confirms these observations showing activated JNK and p38 MAPK at the edge of the wound but not in the rest of the culture in the PAH cells. The upstream inhibitors FAK (PF-573228) and imatinib block this activation of JNK and p38 at the edge of the site of injury and correspondingly inhibit migration. MMCPP which inhibit the activation of downstream effectors of migration, cofilin and caldesmon, also limit the dysregulated migration. These results highlight key pathways which point to potential targets for future therapies of pulmonary hypertension with MMCPP.


PubMed | Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology | Year: 2013

Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation stimulates systemic vascular and left ventricular remodeling. We hypothesized that MR contributes to pulmonary vascular and right ventricular (RV) remodeling of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We evaluated the efficacy of MR antagonism by spironolactone in two experimental PH models; mouse chronic hypoxia-induced PH (prevention model) and rat monocrotaline-induced PH (prevention and treatment models). Last, the biological function of the MR was analyzed in cultured distal pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). In hypoxic PH mice, spironolactone attenuated the increase in RV systolic pressure, pulmonary arterial muscularization, and RV fibrosis. In rat monocrotaline-induced PH (prevention arm), spironolactone attenuated pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary vascular remodeling. In the established disease (treatment arm), spironolactone decreased RV systolic pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance with no significant effect on histological measures of pulmonary vascular remodeling, or RV fibrosis. Spironolactone decreased RV cardiomyocyte size modestly with no significant effect on RV mass, systemic blood pressure, cardiac output, or body weight, suggesting a predominantly local pulmonary vascular effect. In distal PASMCs, MR was expressed and localized diffusely. Treatment with the MR agonist aldosterone, hypoxia, or platelet-derived growth factor promoted MR translocation to the nucleus, activated MR transcriptional function, and stimulated PASMC proliferation, while spironolactone blocked these effects. In summary, MR is active in distal PASMCs, and its antagonism prevents PASMC proliferation and attenuates experimental PH. These data suggest that MR is involved in the pathogenesis of PH via effects on PASMCs and that MR antagonism may represent a novel therapeutic target for this disease.


PubMed | Boston University, Cleveland Clinic and Tupper Research Institute and Pulmonary
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology | Year: 2016

The impairment of vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) production is well accepted as a typical marker of endothelial dysfunction in vascular diseases, including in the pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but the molecular mechanisms accounting for loss of NO production are unknown. We hypothesized that low NO production by pulmonary arterial endothelial cells in PAH is due to inactivation of NO synthase (eNOS) by aberrant phosphorylation of the protein. To test the hypothesis, we evaluated eNOS levels, dimerization, and phosphorylation in the vascular endothelial cells and lungs of patients with PAH compared with controls. In mechanistic studies, eNOS activity in endothelial cells in PAH lungs was found to be inhibited due to phosphorylation at T495. Evidence pointed to greater phosphorylation/activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and its greater association with eNOS as the source of greater phosphorylation at T495. The presence of greater amounts of pT495-eNOS in plexiform lesions in lungs of patients with PAH confirmed the pathobiological mechanism in vivo. Transfection of the activating mutation of eNOS (T495A/S1177D) restored NO production in PAH cells. Pharmacological blockade of PKC activity by -blocker also restored NO formation by PAH cells, identifying one mechanism by which -blockers may benefit PAH and cardiovascular diseases through recovery of endothelial functions.

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