To study the role of endogenous carbon monoxide (CO) in collagen metabolism during hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling, a total of 18 Wistar rats were used in the study and they were randomly divided into three groups: hypoxia group (n = 6), hypoxia with zinc protoporphyrin-IX (ZnPP-IX) group (n = 6) and control group (n = 6). The measurement of mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) and carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) formation in lung tissue homogenates was measured. A morphometric analysis of pulmonary vessels was performed, in which the percentage of muscularized arteries (MA); partially muscularized arteries (PMA) and nonmuscularized arteries (NMV) in small and median pulmonary vessels, relative medial thickness (RMT) and relative medial area (RMA) of pulmonary arteries were analyzed. Collagen type I and III and transforming growth factor-beta3 (TGF-beta3) expressions were detected by immunohistochemical assay. The expressions of procollagen type I and III and TGF-beta3 mRNA were detected by in situ hybridization. The results showed that ZnPP-IX significantly increased mPAP and markedly decreased HbCO formation in lung tissue homogenates in rats under hypoxia (P < 0.01). In the hypoxia rats treated with ZnPP-IX, the percentage of muscularized arteries of small and median pulmonary vessels was obviously increased, and RMT and RMA of intra-acinar muscularized pulmonary arteries were markedly increased compared with hypoxic rats. Ultrastructural changes, such as hyperplasia and hypertrophy of endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and the increased number of SMCs in synthetic phenotype were found in intra-acinar pulmonary muscularized arteries of hypoxic rats treated with ZnPP-IX. Meanwhile, ZnPP-IX promoted the expression of collagen type I and III and TGF-beta3 protein in pulmonary arteries of rats under hypoxia (P < 0.01). Furthermore, ZnPP-IX elevated obviously the expressions of procollagen type I and III mRNA, and TGF-beta3 mRNA in pulmonary arteries of rats under hypoxia (P < 0.01). The results of this study suggested that ZnPP-IX played an important role in promoting collagen synthesis in pulmonary arteries of rats with hypoxic pulmonary structural remodeling by increasing the expression of TGF-beta3. The above findings also suggested a possible role of endogenous CO in the pathogenesis of chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension.
"While these drugs have improved patients' quality of life and expanded their lifespans to a certain extent, they mostly target expanding pulmonary vessels and work to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance, with very little effect on pulmonary vascular remodeling (Okada et al. 1997; Jeffery et al. 2002; Lam et al. 2005; Liu et al. 2008). In addition, some of these medicines are expensive and inconvenient to administer (Rabinovitch et al. 1987; Zhou et al. 1997; Gong et al. 2004; Li et al. 2006; Stenmark et al. 2006; Badesch et al. 2007). Currently studies on developing new drugs to intervene and treat PH have focused more on anti-remodeling effect rather than vascular expansion effect. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The drugs that are currently used to treat pulmonary hypertension (PH) lack the ability to inhibit or reverse the pulmonary vascular remodeling that occurs during the course of the disease. We propose a novel method that combines the therapeutic powers of the potassium channel opener pinacidil and the statin drug simvastatin. These two drugs do not share similar mechanisms of treating PH. We used rats with monocrotaline (MCT)-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) as a model and examined the combined effects of pinacidil and simvastatin on pulmonary vascular remodeling. A series of indicators, including those for pulmonary vascular obstruction, proliferation, and cell phenotype, pulmonary vascular matrix and pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype were used to monitor changes in pulmonary structure over the course of disease and treatment in normal controls, untreated PAH rats, pinacidil-treated subjects, simvastatin-treated subjects, and combination-treated subjects. We found that levels of mPAP, right ventricle Fulton index, pulmonary arteriolar wall thickness and muscularization, cell growth rate, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), lung tissue matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9 and lung tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) contractile protein SM-alpha-actin, and SM-alpha-actin mRNA of these different groups were all significantly lower in the combination-treated group than in the untreated group. Subjects in the combination-treated group also showed lower levels than those in either the pinacidil-treated or simvastatin-treated group. These results support our hypothesis and provide basis for a new, more effective therapeutic methods of treating PAH in human patients.
"Intracellular prolyl-3/4-hydroxylases, lysyl hydroxylases, and protein disulfide isomerases further modify these pro-α1(I) and pro-α2(I) chains to form pro-Col1 triple helices  . Fibroblasts are primarily responsible for synthesizing and secreting pro-Col1, whereas hepatic stellate cells , osteoblasts , odontoblasts , and hypoxic smooth muscle cells  also have the ability to produce pro-Col1. Extracellular procollagen N-and C-proteinases cleave the pro-Col1 propeptide ends of secreted pro-Col1, thereby initiating the self-assembly of collagen microfibrils . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the mechanisms through which hypoxia influences several phenotypic characteristics such as angiogenesis, selection for resistance to apoptosis, resistance to radiation and chemotherapy, and increased invasion and metastasis are well characterized, the relationship between tumor hypoxia and components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is relatively unexplored. The collagen I (Col1) fiber matrix of solid tumors is the major structural part of the ECM. Col1 fiber density can increase tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis, with cancer cell invasion occurring along radially aligned Col1 fibers. Here we have investigated the influence of hypoxia on Col1 fiber density in solid breast and prostate tumor models. Second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy was used to detect differences in Col1 fiber density and volume between hypoxic and normoxic tumor regions. Hypoxic regions were detected by fluorescence microscopy, using tumors derived from human breast and prostate cancer cell lines stably expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under transcriptional control of the hypoxia response element. In-house fiber analysis software was used to quantitatively analyze Col1 fiber density and volume from the SHG microscopy images. Normoxic tumor regions exhibited a dense mesh of Col1 fibers. In contrast, fewer and structurally altered Col1 fibers were detected in hypoxic EGFP-expressing tumor regions. Microarray gene expression analyses identified increased expression of lysyl oxidase and reduced expression of some matrix metalloproteases in hypoxic compared with normoxic cancer cells. These results suggest that hypoxia mediates Col1 fiber restructuring in tumors, which may impact delivery of macromolecular agents as well as dissemination of cells.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 08/2010; 12(8):608-17. DOI:10.1593/neo.10344 · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged hypoxia leads to the development of pulmonary hypertension. Recent reports have suggested enhancement of heme oxygenase (HO), the major source of intracellular carbon monoxide (CO), prevents hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in rats. Therefore, we hypothesized that inhibition of HO activity by tin protoporphyrin (SnPP) would exacerbate the development of pulmonary hypertension. Rats were injected weekly with either saline or SnPP (50 micromol/kg) and exposed to hypobaric hypoxia or room air for 5 wk. Pulmonary and carotid arteries were catheterized, and animals were allowed to recover for 48 h. Pulmonary and systemic pressures, along with cardiac output, were recorded during room air and acute 10% O2 breathing in conscious rats. No difference was detected in pulmonary artery pressure between saline- and SnPP-treated animals in either normoxic or hypoxic groups. However, blockade of HO activity altered both systemic and pulmonary vasoreactivity to acute hypoxic challenge. Despite no change in baseline pulmonary artery pressure, all rats treated with SnPP had decreased ratio of right ventricular (RV) weight to left ventricular (LV) plus septal (S) weight (RV/LV + S) compared with saline-treated animals. Echocardiograms suggested dilatation of the RV and decreased RV function in hypoxic SnPP-treated rats. Together these data suggest that inhibition of HO activity and CO production does not exacerbate pulmonary hypertension, but rather that HO and CO may be involved in mediating pulmonary and systemic vasoreactivity to acute hypoxia and hypoxia-induced RV function.
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