Inhibition of microRNA-17 improves lung and heart function in experimental pulmonary hypertension.
ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRs) control various cellular processes in tissue homeostasis and disease by regulating gene expression on the posttranscriptional level. Recently, it was demonstrated that the expression of miR-21 and members of the miR-17-92 cluster was significantly altered in experimental pulmonary hypertension (PH).
To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and antiremodeling potential of miR inhibitors in the pathogenesis of PH.
We first tested the effects of miR inhibitors (antagomirs), which were specifically designed to block miR-17 (A-17), miR-21 (A-21), and miR-92a (A-92a) in chronic hypoxia-induced PH in mice and A-17 in monocrotaline-induced PH in rats. Moreover, biological function of miR-17 was analyzed in cultured pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.
In the PH mouse model, A-17 and A-21 reduced right ventricular systolic pressure, and all antagomirs decreased pulmonary arterial muscularization. However, only A-17 reduced hypoxia-induced right ventricular hypertrophy and improved pulmonary artery acceleration time. In the monocrotaline-induced PH rat model, A-17 treatment significantly decreased right ventricular systolic pressure and total pulmonary vascular resistance index, increased pulmonary artery acceleration time, normalized cardiac output, and decreased pulmonary vascular remodeling. Among the tested miR-17 targets, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21) was up-regulated in lungs undergoing A-17 treatment. Likewise, in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells, A-17 increased p21. Overexpression of miR-17 significantly reduced p21 expression and increased proliferation of smooth muscle cells.
Our data demonstrate that A-17 improves heart and lung function in experimental PH by interfering with lung vascular and right ventricular remodeling. The beneficial effects may be related to the up-regulation of p21. Thus, inhibition of miR-17 may represent a novel therapeutic concept to ameliorate disease state in PH.
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ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a disorder that develops as a result of remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature and is characterized by narrowing/obliteration of small pulmonary arteries, leading to increased mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance. Subsequently, PH increases the right ventricular afterload, which leads to right ventricular hypertrophy and eventually right ventricular failure. The pathophysiology of PH is not fully elucidated, and current treatments have only a modest impact on patient survival and quality of life. Thus, there is an urgent need for improved treatments or a cure. The use of animal models has contributed extensively to the current understanding of PH pathophysiology and the investigation of experimental treatments. However, PH in current animal models may not fully represent current clinical observations. For example, PH in animal models appears to be curable with many therapeutic interventions, and the severity of PH in animal models is also believed to correlate poorly with that observed in humans. In this review, we discuss a variety of animal models in PH research, some of their contributions to the field, their shortcomings, and how these have been addressed. We highlight the fact that the constant development and evolution of animal models will help us to more closely model the severity and heterogeneity of PH observed in humans.Pulmonary circulation. 12/2013; 3(4):739-56.
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are molecules increasingly investigated for both diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Whereas information about their role in the left ventricle has been studied for many years, there is scarce information about the right ventricle. We thus here review known details about the expression, regulation, and function of miRNAs in right heart diseases. Current identified therapeutic strategies using miRNA modulators to treat pulmonary hypertension and thus also having beneficial effects on the right ventricle are also discussed. Finally, the current knowledge about the diagnostic and predictive use of circulating miRNAs in patients with pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular failure is presented. There is strong hope that the increasing knowledge about miRNAs in the right heart will finally help to improve the treatment of patients with pulmonary and right ventricular heart diseases.Pulmonary circulation. 06/2014; 4(2):185-90.
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ABSTRACT: Epigenetics refers to heritable traits that are not a consequence of DNA sequence. Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist: DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA action. In the cardiovascular system, epigenetic regulation affects development, differentiation, and disease propensity or expression. Defining the determinants of epigenetic regulation offers opportunities for novel strategies for disease prevention and treatment.Pulmonary circulation. 06/2014; 4(2):169-74.