, a bio/informatics shared resource is still "open for business" - Visit the CDS website
Hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a deadly disease characterized by progressive remodeling and persistent vasoconstriction of the pulmonary arterial system. Remodeling of the pulmonary artery (PA) involves smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, hypertrophy, migration, and elevated extracellular matrix (ECM) production elicited by mitogens and oxidants produced in response to hypoxic insult. We previously reported that the transcription factor cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) is depleted in medial PA SMCs in remodeled, hypertensive vessels in rats or calves exposed to chronic hypoxia. In culture, CREB loss can be induced in PA SMCs by exogenous oxidants or platelet-derived growth factor. Forced depletion of CREB with small interfering RNA (siRNA) in PA SMCs is sufficient to induce their proliferation, hypertrophy, migration, dedifferentiation, and ECM production. This suggests that oxidant and/or mitogen-induced loss of CREB in medial SMCs is, in part, responsible for PA thickening. Here, we tested whether oxidant scavengers could prevent the loss of CREB in PA SMCs and inhibit SMC proliferation, migration, and ECM production using in vitro and in vivo models. Exposure of PA SMCs to hypoxia induced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production and loss of CREB. Treatment of SMCs with exogenous H2O2 or a second oxidant, Sin-1, elicited CREB depletion under normoxic conditions. Exogenous H2O2 also induced SMC proliferation, migration, and increased elastin levels as did forced depletion of CREB. In vivo, hypoxia-induced thickening of the PA wall was suppressed by the superoxide dismutase mimetic, Tempol, which also prevented the loss of CREB in medial SMCs. Tempol also reduced hypoxia-induced SMC proliferation and elastin deposition in the PA. The data indicate that CREB levels in the arterial wall are regulated in part by oxidants produced in response to hypoxia and that CREB plays a crucial role in regulating SMC phenotype and PA remodeling.