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Endothelial dysfunction is a known consequence of bone morphogenetic protein type II receptor () mutations seen in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, standard 2D cell culture models fail to mimic the mechanical environment seen in the pulmonary vasculature. Hydrogels have emerged as promising platforms for 3D disease modeling due to their tunable physical and biochemical properties. In order to recreate the mechanical stimuli seen in the pulmonary vasculature, we have created a novel 3D hydrogel-based pulmonary vasculature model ("artificial arteriole") that reproduces the pulsatile flow rates and pressures seen in the human lung. Using this platform, we studied both and WT endothelial cells to better understand how the addition of oscillatory flow and physiological pressure influenced gene expression, cell morphology, and cell permeability. The addition of oscillatory flow and pressure resulted in several gene expression changes in both WT and cells. However, for many pathways with relevance to PAH etiology, cells responded differently when compared to the WT cells. cells were also found not to elongate in the direction of flow, and instead remained stagnant in morphology despite mechanical stimuli. The increased permeability of the layer was successfully reproduced in our artificial arteriole, with the addition of flow and pressure not leading to significant changes in permeability. Our artificial arteriole is the first to model many mechanical properties seen in the lung. Its tunability enables several new opportunities to study the endothelium in pulmonary vascular disease with increased control over environmental parameters.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed in mitochondria during electron transport and energy generation. Elevated levels of ROS lead to increased amounts of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage. We report that levels of M1dG, a major endogenous peroxidation-derived DNA adduct, are 50-100-fold higher in mtDNA than in nuclear DNA in several different human cell lines. Treatment of cells with agents that either increase or decrease mitochondrial superoxide levels leads to increased or decreased levels of M1dG in mtDNA, respectively. Sequence analysis of adducted mtDNA suggests that M1dG residues are randomly distributed throughout the mitochondrial genome. Basal levels of M1dG in mtDNA from pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) from transgenic bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 mutant mice (BMPR2R899X) (four adducts per 106 dG) are twice as high as adduct levels in wild-type cells. A similar increase was observed in mtDNA from heterozygous null (BMPR2+/-) compared to wild-type PMVECs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is observed in the presence of BMPR2 signaling disruptions, which are also associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidant injury to endothelial tissue. Persistence of M1dG adducts in mtDNA could have implications for mutagenesis and mitochondrial gene expression, thereby contributing to the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in diseases.
Increased oestrogen is a strong epidemiological risk factor for development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in patients, associated with metabolic defects. In addition, oestrogens drive penetrance in mice carrying mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2), the cause of most heritable PAH. The goal of the present study was to determine whether inhibition of oestrogens was effective in the treatment of PAH in these mice.The oestrogen inhibitors fulvestrant and anastrozole were used in a prevention and treatment paradigm in BMPR2 mutant mice, and tamoxifen was used for treatment. In addition, BMPR2 mutant mice were crossed onto oestrogen receptor (ESR)1 and ESR2 knockout backgrounds to assess receptor specificity. Haemodynamic and metabolic outcomes were measured.Oestrogen inhibition both prevented and treated PAH in BMPR2 mutant mice. This was associated with reduction in metabolic defects including oxidised lipid formation, insulin resistance and rescue of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and CD36. The effect was mediated primarily through ESR2, but partially through ESR1.Our data suggest that trials of oestrogen inhibition in human PAH are warranted, and may improve pulmonary vascular disease through amelioration of metabolic defects. Although fulvestrant and anastrozole were more effective than tamoxifen, tamoxifen may be useful in premenopausal females, because of a reduced risk of induction of menopause.
Copyright ©ERS 2017.
Pulmonary vascular disease is characterized by remodeling and loss of microvessels and is typically attributed to pathological responses in vascular endothelium or abnormal smooth muscle cell phenotypes. We have challenged this understanding by defining an adult pulmonary mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC) that regulates both microvascular function and angiogenesis. The current understanding of adult MPCs and their roles in homeostasis versus disease has been limited by a lack of genetic markers with which to lineage label multipotent mesenchyme and trace the differentiation of these MPCs into vascular lineages. Here, we have shown that lineage-labeled lung MPCs expressing the ATP-binding cassette protein ABCG2 (ABCG2+) are pericyte progenitors that participate in microvascular homeostasis as well as adaptive angiogenesis. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, either autonomously or downstream of decreased BMP receptor signaling, enhanced ABCG2+ MPC proliferation but suppressed MPC differentiation into a functional pericyte lineage. Thus, enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signaling in ABCG2+ MPCs drives a phenotype of persistent microvascular dysfunction, abnormal angiogenesis, and subsequent exacerbation of bleomycin-induced fibrosis. ABCG2+ MPCs may, therefore, account in part for the aberrant microvessel function and remodeling that are associated with chronic lung diseases.
In familial pulmonary arterial hypertension (FPAH), the autosomal dominant disease-causing BMPR2 mutation is only 20% penetrant, suggesting that genetic variation provides modifiers that alleviate the disease. Here, we used comparison of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs) from three families with unaffected mutation carriers (UMCs), FPAH patients, and gender-matched controls to investigate this variation. Our analysis identified features of UMC iPSC-ECs related to modifiers of BMPR2 signaling or to differentially expressed genes. FPAH-iPSC-ECs showed reduced adhesion, survival, migration, and angiogenesis compared to UMC-iPSC-ECs and control cells. The "rescued" phenotype of UMC cells was related to an increase in specific BMPR2 activators and/or a reduction in inhibitors, and the improved cell adhesion could be attributed to preservation of related signaling. The improved survival was related to increased BIRC3 and was independent of BMPR2. Our findings therefore highlight protective modifiers for FPAH that could help inform development of future treatment strategies.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
RATIONALE - In heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension with germline mutation in the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) gene, right ventricle (RV) dysfunction is associated with RV lipotoxicity; however, the underlying mechanism for lipid accumulation is not known.
OBJECTIVES - We hypothesized that lipid accumulation in cardiomyocytes with BMPR2 mutation occurs owing to alterations in lipid transport and impaired fatty acid oxidation (FAO), which is exacerbated by a high-lipid (Western) diet (WD).
METHODS - We used a transgenic mouse model of pulmonary arterial hypertension with mutant BMPR2 and generated a cardiomyocyte cell line with BMPR2 mutation. Electron microscopy and metabolomic analysis were performed on mouse RVs.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - By metabolomics analysis, we found an increase in long-chain fatty acids in BMPR2 mutant mouse RVs compared with controls, which correlated with cardiac index. BMPR2-mutant cardiomyocytes had increased lipid compared with controls. Direct measurement of FAO in the WD-fed BMPR2-mutant RV showed impaired palmitate-linked oxygen consumption, and metabolomics analysis showed reduced indices of FAO. Using both mutant BMPR2 mouse RVs and cardiomyocytes, we found an increase in the uptake of (14)C-palmitate and fatty acid transporter CD36 that was further exacerbated by WD.
CONCLUSIONS - Taken together, our data suggest that impaired FAO and increased expression of the lipid transporter CD36 are key mechanisms underlying lipid deposition in the BMPR2-mutant RV, which are exacerbated in the presence of dietary lipids. These findings suggest important features leading to RV lipotoxicity in pulmonary arterial hypertension and may point to novel areas of therapeutic intervention.
Serotonergic anorexigens are the primary pharmacologic risk factor associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and the resulting PAH is clinically indistinguishable from the heritable form of disease, associated with BMPR2 mutations. Both BMPR2 mutation and agonists to the serotonin receptor HTR2B have been shown to cause activation of SRC tyrosine kinase; conversely, antagonists to HTR2B inhibit SRC trafficking and downstream function. To test the hypothesis that a HTR2B antagonist can prevent BMRP2 mutation induced PAH by restricting aberrant SRC trafficking and downstream activity, we exposed BMPR2 mutant mice, which spontaneously develop PAH, to a HTR2B antagonist, SB204741, to block the SRC activation caused by BMPR2 mutation. SB204741 prevented the development of PAH in BMPR2 mutant mice, reduced recruitment of inflammatory cells to their lungs, and reduced muscularization of their blood vessels. By atomic force microscopy, we determined that BMPR2 mutant mice normally had a doubling of vessel stiffness, which was substantially normalized by HTR2B inhibition. SB204741 reduced SRC phosphorylation and downstream activity in BMPR2 mutant mice. Gene expression arrays indicate that the primary changes were in cytoskeletal and muscle contractility genes. These results were confirmed by gel contraction assays showing that HTR2B inhibition nearly normalizes the 400% increase in gel contraction normally seen in BMPR2 mutant smooth muscle cells. Heritable PAH results from increased SRC activation, cellular contraction, and vascular resistance, but antagonism of HTR2B prevents SRC phosphorylation, downstream activity, and PAH in BMPR2 mutant mice.
BACKGROUND - Mutations in the gene encoding the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2) are the commonest genetic cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the effect of BMPR2 mutations on clinical phenotype and outcomes remains uncertain.
METHODS - We analysed individual participant data of 1550 patients with idiopathic, heritable, and anorexigen-associated PAH from eight cohorts that had been systematically tested for BMPR2 mutations. The primary outcome was the composite of death or lung transplantation. All-cause mortality was the secondary outcome. Hazard ratios (HRs) for death or transplantation and all-cause mortality associated with the presence of BMPR2 mutation were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models stratified by cohort.
FINDINGS - Overall, 448 (29%) of 1550 patients had a BMPR2 mutation. Mutation carriers were younger at diagnosis (mean age 35·4 [SD 14·8] vs 42·0 [17·8] years), had a higher mean pulmonary artery pressure (60·5 [13·8] vs 56·4 [15·3] mm Hg) and pulmonary vascular resistance (16·6 [8·3] vs 12·9 [8·3] Wood units), and lower cardiac index (2·11 [0·69] vs 2·51 [0·92] L/min per m(2); all p<0·0001). Patients with BMPR2 mutations were less likely to respond to acute vasodilator testing (3% [10 of 380] vs 16% [147 of 907]; p<0·0001). Among the 1164 individuals with available survival data, age-adjusted and sex-adjusted HRs comparing BMPR2 mutation carriers with non-carriers were 1·42 (95% CI 1·15-1·75; p=0·0011) for the composite of death or lung transplantation and 1·27 (1·00-1·60; p=0·046) for all-cause mortality. These HRs were attenuated after adjustment for potential mediators including pulmonary vascular resistance, cardiac index, and vasoreactivity. HRs for death or transplantation and all-cause mortality associated with BMPR2 mutation were similar in men and women, but higher in patients with a younger age at diagnosis (p=0·0030 for death or transplantation, p=0·011 for all-cause mortality).
INTERPRETATION - Patients with PAH and BMPR2 mutations present at a younger age with more severe disease, and are at increased risk of death, and death or transplantation, compared with those without BMPR2 mutations.
FUNDING - Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, INSERM, Université Paris-Sud, Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation, Vanderbilt University, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Natural Science Foundation.
Copyright © 2016 Evans et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC-BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a proliferative disease of the pulmonary vasculature that preferentially affects women. Estrogens such as the metabolite 16α-hydroxyestrone (16αOHE) may contribute to PAH pathogenesis, and alterations in cellular energy metabolism associate with PAH. We hypothesized that 16αOHE promotes heritable PAH (HPAH) via microRNA-29 (miR-29) family upregulation and that antagonism of miR-29 would attenuate pulmonary hypertension in transgenic mouse models of Bmpr2 mutation.
METHODS AND RESULTS - MicroRNA array profiling of human lung tissue found elevation of microRNAs associated with energy metabolism, including the miR-29 family, among HPAH patients. miR-29 expression was 2-fold higher in Bmpr2 mutant mice lungs at baseline compared with controls and 4 to 8-fold higher in Bmpr2 mice exposed to 16αOHE 1.25 μg/h for 4 weeks. Blot analyses of Bmpr2 mouse lung protein showed significant reductions in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and CD36 in those mice exposed to 16αOHE and protein derived from HPAH lungs compared with controls. Bmpr2 mice treated with anti-miR-29 (20-mg/kg injections for 6 weeks) had improvements in hemodynamic profile, histology, and markers of dysregulated energy metabolism compared with controls. Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells derived from Bmpr2 murine lungs demonstrated mitochondrial abnormalities, which improved with anti-miR-29 transfection in vitro; endothelial-like cells derived from HPAH patient induced pluripotent stem cell lines were similar and improved with anti-miR-29 treatment.
CONCLUSIONS - 16αOHE promotes the development of HPAH via upregulation of miR-29, which alters molecular and functional indexes of energy metabolism. Antagonism of miR-29 improves in vivo and in vitro features of HPAH and reveals a possible novel therapeutic target.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.