Pulmonary Vascular Platform Models the Effects of Flow and Pressure on Endothelial Dysfunction in Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

D'Amico RW, Faley S, Shim HN, Prosser JR, Agrawal V, Bellan LM, West JD
Int J Mol Sci. 2018 19 (9)

PMID: 30158434 · PMCID: PMC6164056 · DOI:10.3390/ijms19092561

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.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II Cell Line Disease Models, Animal Endothelial Cells Hypertension, Pulmonary Mice Sequence Analysis, RNA

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