Dominant negative mutation of the TGF-beta receptor blocks hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling.
ABSTRACT The present study utilized a novel transgenic mouse model that expresses an inducible dominant negative mutation of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta type II receptor (DnTGFbetaRII mouse) to test the hypothesis that TGF-beta signaling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic hypoxia-induced increases in pulmonary arterial pressure and vascular and alveolar remodeling. Nine- to 10-wk-old male DnTGFbetaRII and control nontransgenic (NTG) mice were exposed to normobaric hypoxia (10% O2) or air for 6 wk. Expression of DnTGFbetaRII was induced by drinking 25 mM ZnSO4 water beginning 1 wk before hypoxic exposure. Hypoxia-induced increases in right ventricular pressure, right ventricular mass, pulmonary arterial remodeling, and muscularization were greatly attenuated in DnTGFbetaRII mice compared with NTG controls. Furthermore, the stimulatory effects of hypoxic exposure on pulmonary arterial and alveolar collagen content, appearance of alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive cells in alveolar parenchyma, and expression of extracellular matrix molecule (including collagen I and III, periostin, and osteopontin) mRNA in whole lung were abrogated in DnTGFbetaRII mice compared with NTG controls. Hypoxic exposure had no effect on systemic arterial pressure or heart rate in either strain. These data support the hypothesis that endogenous TGF-beta plays an important role in pulmonary vascular adaptation to chronic hypoxia and that disruption of TGF-beta signaling attenuates hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary arterial hypertrophy and muscularization, alveolar remodeling, and expression of extracellular matrix mRNA in whole lung.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations affecting transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily receptors, activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)-1, and endoglin (ENG) occur in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). To determine whether the TGF-β/ALK1/ENG pathway was involved in PAH, we investigated pulmonary TGF-β, ALK1, ALK5, and ENG expressions in human lung tissue and cultured pulmonary-artery smooth-muscle-cells (PA-SMCs) and pulmonary endothelial cells (PECs) from 14 patients with idiopathic PAH (iPAH) and 15 controls. Seeing that ENG was highly expressed in PEC, we assessed the effects of TGF-β on Smad1/5/8 and Smad2/3 activation and on growth factor production by the cells. Finally, we studied the consequence of ENG deficiency on the chronic hypoxic-PH development by measuring right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure (RVSP), RV hypertrophy, and pulmonary arteriolar remodeling in ENG-deficient (Eng+/-) and wild-type (Eng+/+) mice. We also evaluated the pulmonary blood vessel density, macrophage infiltration, and cytokine expression in the lungs of the animals. Compared to controls, iPAH patients had higher serum and pulmonary TGF-β levels and increased ALK1 and ENG expressions in lung tissue, predominantly in PECs. Incubation of the cells with TGF-β led to Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation and to a production of FGF2, PDGFb and endothelin-inducing PA-SMC growth. Endoglin deficiency protected mice from hypoxic PH. As compared to wild-type, Eng+/- mice had a lower pulmonary vessel density, and no change in macrophage infiltration after exposure to chronic hypoxia despite the higher pulmonary expressions of interleukin-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. The TGF-β/ALK1/ENG signaling pathway plays a key role in iPAH and experimental hypoxic PH via a direct effect on PECs leading to production of growth factors and inflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of PAH.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e100310. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious progressive and irreversible lung disease with unknown etiology and few treatment options. This disease was once thought to be a chronic inflammatory-driven process, but it is increasingly recognized that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to the cellular origin of fibroblast accumulation in response to injury. During the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrotic diseases, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling is considered a pivotal inducer of EMT and fibroblast activation, and a number of therapeutic interventions that interfere with TGF-β signaling have been developed to reverse established fibrosis. However, efficient and well-tolerated antifibrotic agents are not currently available. Previously, we reported the identification of sorafenib to antagonize TGF-β signaling in mouse hepatocytes in vitro. In this manuscript, we continued to evaluate the antifibrotic effects of sorafenib on bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. We further demonstrated that sorafenib not only profoundly inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT in alveolar epithelial cells, but also simultaneously reduced the proliferation and collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. Additionally, we presented in vivo evidence that sorafenib inhibited the symptoms of BLM-mediated EMT and fibroblast activation in mice, warranting the therapeutic potential of this drug for patients with IPF.Cell Death & Disease 06/2013; 4:e665. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Excess smooth muscle accumulation is a key component of many vascular disorders, including atherosclerosis, restenosis, and pulmonary artery hypertension, but the underlying cell biological processes are not well defined. In pulmonary artery hypertension, reduced pulmonary artery compliance is a strong independent predictor of mortality, and pathological distal arteriole muscularization contributes to this reduced compliance. We recently demonstrated that embryonic pulmonary artery wall morphogenesis consists of discrete developmentally regulated steps. In contrast, poor understanding of distal arteriole muscularization in pulmonary artery hypertension severely limits existing therapies that aim to dilate the pulmonary vasculature but have modest clinical benefit and do not prevent hypermuscularization. Here, we show that most pathological distal arteriole smooth muscle cells, but not alveolar myofibroblasts, derive from pre-existing smooth muscle. Furthermore, the program of distal arteriole muscularization encompasses smooth muscle cell dedifferentiation, distal migration, proliferation, and then redifferentiation, thereby recapitulating many facets of arterial wall development.Cell Reports 02/2014; · 7.21 Impact Factor