Changes in myosin heavy chain and its localization in rat heart in association with hypobaric hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
ABSTRACT Experimental pulmonary hypertension induced in a hypobaric hypoxic environment (HHE) is characterized by structural remodelling of the heart. In rat cardiac ventricles, pressure and volume overload are well known to be associated with changes in cardiac myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms. To study the effects of HHE on the MHC profile in the ventricles, 83 male Wistar rats were housed in a chamber at the equivalent of 5500 m altitude for 1-8 weeks. Pulmonary arterial pressure, right ventricular free wall (RVFW) weight, the ratio of RVFW weight over body weight (BW), the ratio of left ventricular free wall (LVFW) weight over BW, and myocyte diameter in both ventricles showed significant increases after 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 week, 6 weeks, and 4 weeks of HHE, respectively. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction revealed that beta-MHC mRNA expression was increased significantly in both ventricles at 6 and 8 weeks of HHE, whereas alpha-MHC mRNA expression was decreased significantly at 6 and 8 weeks of HHE in the right ventricle (RV) and at 6 weeks of HHE in the left ventricle (LV). The percentage of myosin containing the beta-MHC isoform was increased significantly at 4-8 weeks of HHE in RV and at 6 weeks of HHE in LV. In situ hybridization showed that the area of strong staining for beta-MHC mRNA was increased in both ventricles at 8 weeks of HHE, and showed a decrease from RVFW to cardiac septum, and from cardiac septum to LVFW. These results suggest that HHE has a significant effect on the expression of both MHC mRNA and protein in the heart, particularly in RV. These changes may reflect a role for cardiac MHC in the response to pulmonary hypertension in HHE.
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ABSTRACT: The most important determinant of longevity in pulmonary arterial hypertension is right ventricular (RV) function, but in contrast to experimental work elucidating the pathobiology of left ventricular failure, there is a paucity of data on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of RV failure. A mechanical animal model of chronic progressive RV pressure overload (pulmonary artery banding, not associated with structural alterations of the lung circulation) was compared with an established model of angioproliferative pulmonary hypertension associated with fatal RV failure. Isolated RV pressure overload induced RV hypertrophy without failure, whereas in the context of angioproliferative pulmonary hypertension, RV failure developed that was associated with myocardial apoptosis, fibrosis, a decreased RV capillary density, and a decreased vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA and protein expression despite increased nuclear stabilization of hypoxia-induced factor-1alpha. Induction of myocardial nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 and heme-oxygenase 1 with a dietary supplement (Protandim) prevented fibrosis and capillary loss and preserved RV function despite continuing pressure overload. These data brought into question the commonly held concept that RV failure associated with pulmonary hypertension is due strictly to the increased RV afterload.Circulation 11/2009; 120(20):1951-60. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: High-altitude hypoxia causes pulmonary hypertension in humans and animals. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a novel and long-lasting vasoconstrictor. However, no study has dealt with the effects of a hypobaric hypoxic environment (HHE) on ET-1 activity in the brain. We examined 134 male rats permanently exposed to the equivalent of 5500 m altitude for 1 to 8 weeks. In these HHE rats, the mean pulmonary arterial pressure was significantly raised. The level of ET-1 protein, measured by enzyme immunoassay, increased rapidly in the lungs on exposure to HHE, but decreased in the brain. The level of ET-1 mRNA, measured by semiquantitative RT-PCR, was raised at 1, 4, and 6 weeks' exposure in the lungs and at 4 or more weeks' exposure in 3 of 8 brain regions. By in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of brain sections, ET-1 mRNA and protein were detected in the endothelial cells, neurons, and astrocyte-like cells in control rats. In HHE rats, the immunoreactive intensity for ET-1 protein decreased rapidly with time in these cells within the brain, although a few weakly ET-1 protein-positive cells were detected until 8 weeks' exposure to HHE. Only a few weakly ET-1 mRNA-positive endothelial cells were detected in any HHE rats. Although the reactivity for ET-1 mRNA had decreased significantly in neurons and astrocyte-like cells at 1 and 2 weeks' exposure to HHE, it was again strong in both types of cells at 4 weeks' exposure to HHE. These results raise the possibility that during exposure to HHE, ET-1 production in the lung may play a role in the development of pulmonary hypertension, while a decrease in ET-1 production within the brain may help to protect neurons by preventing or limiting the constriction of cerebral microvessels during the hypoxia induced by HHE.Brain Research 04/2005; 1036(1-2):145-54. · 2.88 Impact Factor