[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review summarizes an expanding body of knowledge indicating that failure to resolve inflammation and altered immune processes underlie the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The chemokines and cytokines implicated in pulmonary arterial hypertension that could form a biomarker platform are discussed. Pre-clinical studies that provide the basis for dysregulated immunity in animal models of the disease are reviewed. In addition, we present therapies that target inflammatory/immune mechanisms that are currently enrolling patients, and discuss others in development. We show how genetic and metabolic abnormalities are inextricably linked to dysregulated immunity and adverse remodeling in the pulmonary arteries.
Circulation Research 06/2014; 115(1):165-75. · 11.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening disorder that is associated with elevated pulmonary pressures and right heart failure resulting from progressive loss and thickening of small pulmonary arteries. Despite their ability to improve symptoms, current therapies fail to prevent disease progression, leaving lung transplantation as the only therapy in end-stage PAH. To overcome the limitations of current therapies, there is an active search for disease-modifying agents capable of altering the natural history of, and improving clinical outcomes in, PAH. The Wnt signaling pathways have emerged as attractive treatment targets in PAH given their role in the preservation of pulmonary vascular homeostasis and the recent development of Wnt-specific compounds and biological therapies capable of modulating pathway activity. In this review, we summarize the literature describing the role of Wnt signaling in the pulmonary circulation and discuss promising advances in the field of Wnt therapeutics that could lead to novel clinical therapies capable of preventing and/or reversing pulmonary vascular pathology in patients with this devastating disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH [IPAH]) is an insidious and potentially fatal disease linked to a mutation or reduced expression of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2). Because intravascular inflammatory cells are recruited in IPAH pathogenesis, we hypothesized that reduced BMPR2 enhances production of the potent chemokine granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in response to an inflammatory perturbation. When human pulmonary artery (PA) endothelial cells deficient in BMPR2 were stimulated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a twofold increase in GM-CSF was observed and related to enhanced messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. The mechanism was associated with disruption of stress granule formation. Specifically, loss of BMPR2 induced prolonged phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in response to TNF, and this increased GADD34-PP1 phosphatase activity, dephosphorylating eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF2α), and derepressing GM-CSF mRNA translation. Lungs from IPAH patients versus unused donor controls revealed heightened PA expression of GM-CSF co-distributing with increased TNF and expanded populations of hematopoietic and endothelial GM-CSF receptor α (GM-CSFRα)-positive cells. Moreover, a 3-wk infusion of GM-CSF in mice increased hypoxia-induced PAH, in association with increased perivascular macrophages and muscularized distal arteries, whereas blockade of GM-CSF repressed these features. Thus, reduced BMPR2 can subvert a stress granule response, heighten GM-CSF mRNA translation, increase inflammatory cell recruitment, and exacerbate PAH.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2014; · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the pathobiology of pulmonary hypertension (PH) continues to accelerate. However, fundamental gaps remain in our understanding of the underlying pathological changes in pulmonary arteries and veins in the different forms of this syndrome. Although PH primarily affects the arteries, venous disease is increasingly recognized as an important entity. Moreover, prognosis in PH is determined largely by the status of the right ventricle, rather than the levels of pulmonary artery pressures. It is increasingly clear that although vasospasm plays a role, PH is an obstructive lung panvasculopathy. Disordered metabolism and mitochondrial structure, inflammation, and dysregulation of growth factors lead to a proliferative, apoptosis-resistant state. These abnormalities may be acquired, genetically mediated as a result of mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor-2 or activin-like kinase-1, or epigenetically inherited (as a result of epigenetic silencing of genes such as superoxide dismutase-2). There is a pressing need to better understand how the pathobiology leads to severe disease in some patients versus mild PH in others. Recent recognition of a potential role of acquired abnormalities of mitochondrial metabolism in the right ventricular myocytes and pulmonary vascular cells suggests new therapeutic approaches, diagnostic modalities, and biomarkers. Finally, dissection of the role of pulmonary inflammation in the initiation and promotion of PH has revealed a complex yet fascinating interplay with pulmonary vascular remodeling, promising to lead to novel therapeutics and diagnostics. Emerging concepts are also relevant to the pathobiology of PH, including a role for bone marrow and circulating progenitor cells and microribonucleic acids. Continued interest in the interface of the genetic basis of PH and cellular and molecular pathogenetic links should further expand our understanding of the disease.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 12/2013; 62(25 Suppl):D4-D12. · 14.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious condition that affects mainly young and middle-aged women, and its etiology is poorly understood. A prominent pathological feature of PH is accumulation of macrophages near the arterioles of the lung. In both clinical tissue and the SU5416 (SU)/athymic rat model of severe PH, we found that the accumulated macrophages expressed high levels of leukotriene A4 hydrolase (LTA4H), the biosynthetic enzyme for leukotriene B4 (LTB4). Moreover, macrophage-derived LTB4 directly induced apoptosis in pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs). Further, LTB4 induced proliferation and hypertrophy of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. We found that LTB4 acted through its receptor, BLT1, to induce PAEC apoptosis by inhibiting the protective endothelial sphingosine kinase 1 (Sphk1)-endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) pathway. Blocking LTA4H decreased in vivo LTB4 levels, prevented PAEC apoptosis, restored Sphk1-eNOS signaling, and reversed fulminant PH in the SU/athymic rat model of PH. Antagonizing BLT1 similarly reversed established PH. Inhibition of LTB4 biosynthesis or signal transduction in SU-treated athymic rats with established disease also improved cardiac function and reopened obstructed arterioles; this approach was also effective in the monocrotaline model of severe PH. Human plexiform lesions, one hallmark of PH, showed increased numbers of macrophages, which expressed LTA4H, and patients with connective tissue disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension exhibited significantly higher LTB4 concentrations in the systemic circulation than did healthy subjects. These results uncover a possible role for macrophage-derived LTB4 in PH pathogenesis and identify a pathway that may be amenable to therapeutic targeting.
Science translational medicine 08/2013; 5(200):200ra117. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysfunctional bone morphogenetic protein receptor-2 (BMPR2) signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We used a transcriptional high-throughput luciferase reporter assay to screen 3,756 FDA-approved drugs and bioactive compounds for induction of BMPR2 signaling. The best response was achieved with FK506 (tacrolimus), via a dual mechanism of action as a calcineurin inhibitor that also binds FK-binding protein-12 (FKBP12), a repressor of BMP signaling. FK506 released FKBP12 from type I receptors activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1), ALK2, and ALK3 and activated downstream SMAD1/5 and MAPK signaling and ID1 gene regulation in a manner superior to the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and the FKBP12 ligand rapamycin. In pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs) from patients with idiopathic PAH, low-dose FK506 reversed dysfunctional BMPR2 signaling. In mice with conditional Bmpr2 deletion in ECs, low-dose FK506 prevented exaggerated chronic hypoxic PAH associated with induction of EC targets of BMP signaling, such as apelin. Low-dose FK506 also reversed severe PAH in rats with medial hypertrophy following monocrotaline and in rats with neointima formation following VEGF receptor blockade and chronic hypoxia. Our studies indicate that low-dose FK506 could be useful in the treatment of PAH.
The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of the pulmonary system is essential for terrestrial life. The molecular pathways that regulate this complex process are beginning to be defined, and such knowledge is critical to our understanding of congenital and acquired lung diseases. A recent workshop was convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to discuss the developmental principles that regulate the formation of the pulmonary system. Emerging evidence suggests that key developmental pathways not only regulate proper formation of the pulmonary system but are also reactivated upon postnatal injury and repair and in the pathogenesis of human lung diseases. Molecular understanding of early lung development has also led to new advances in areas such as generation of lung epithelium from pluripotent stem cells. The workshop was organized into four different topics, including early lung cell fate and morphogenesis, mechanisms of lung cell differentiation, tissue interactions in lung development, and environmental impact on early lung development. Critical points were raised, including the importance of epigenetic regulation of lung gene expression, the dearth of knowledge on important mesenchymal lineages within the lung, and the interaction between the developing pulmonary and cardiovascular system. This manuscript describes the summary of the discussion along with general recommendations to overcome the gaps in knowledge in lung developmental biology.
Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 04/2013; 10(2):S12-6.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains a life-limiting condition with a major impact on the ability to lead a normal life. Although existing therapies may improve the outlook in some patients there remains a major unmet need to develop more effective therapies in this condition. There have been significant advances in our understanding of the genetic, cell and molecular basis of PAH over the last few years. This research has identified important new targets that could be explored as potential therapies for PAH. In this review we discuss whether further exploitation of vasoactive agents could bring additional benefits over existing approaches. Approaches to enhance smooth muscle cell apotosis and the potential of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition are summarised. We evaluate the role of inflammation, epigenetic changes and altered glycolytic metabolism as potential targets for therapy, and whether inherited genetic mutations in PAH have revealed druggable targets. The potential of cell based therapies and gene therapy are also discussed. Potential candidate pathways that could be explored in the context of experimental medicine are identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary artery (PA) stenosis is a difficult obstructive defect to manage as clinicians cannot know a priori which obstructions to treat and when. Prognosis of PA stenosis and its chronic effects on lung development are poorly understood. This study aimed to characterize the hemodynamic and structural effects of PA stenosis during development. Fourteen male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent left pulmonary artery (LPA) banding at age 21 days and thirteen underwent sham-operation. Hemodynamic and structural impacts were studied longitudinally at 20, 36, 52, 100 and 160 days. Chronic LPA banding resulted in a significant reduction in LPA flow (p<0.0001) and size of both proximal LPA (p<0.0001) and distal LPA (p<0.01), as well as a significant increase in flow and size of the right pulmonary artery (p<0.05) throughout development. Flows and sizes adapted such that normal levels of wall shear were restored after banding. At 160 days, LPA banding resulted in a significant decrease in left lung volume and an increase in right lung volume but no significant differences in total lung volume. There was an elevation of proximal LPA pressure as well as right ventricular hypertrophy in the banded animals. The banded lung exhibited arterial disorganization, loss of vessels and enlargement of its bronchial arteries, while the contralateral lung showed signs of vascular pathology. There are consequences on development of both lungs in the presence of an LPA stenosis at young age. These results suggest that early intervention may be necessary to optimize left lung growth and minimize right lung vascular pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is characterized by progressive elevation in pulmonary pressure and loss of small pulmonary arteries. As bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) promote pulmonary angiogenesis by recruiting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, we proposed that βcatenin activation could reduce loss and/or induce regeneration of small PAs and attenuate PH. Objective: This study aims to establish the role of β-catenin in protecting the pulmonary endothelium and stimulating compensatory angiogenesis following injury. Methods and Results: To assess the impact of β-catenin activation on chronic hypoxia-induced PH, we used the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc(Min/+)) mouse, where reduced APC causes constitutive β-catenin elevation. Surprisingly, hypoxic Apc(Min/+) mice displayed greater PH and small PA loss compared to control C57Bl6J (C57) littermates. Pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs) isolated from Apc(Min/+) demonstrated reduced survival and angiogenic responses along with a profound reduction in adhesion to laminin. The mechanism involved failure of APC to interact with the cytoplasmic domain of the α3 integrin, to stabilize focal adhesions and activate integrin-linked kinase (ILK-1) and pAkt. We found that PAECs from lungs of patients with idiopathic PH have reduced APC expression, decreased adhesion to laminin and impaired vascular tube formation. These defects were corrected in the cultured cells by transfection of APC. Conclusions: We show that APC is integral to PAEC adhesion and survival and is reduced in PAECs from PH patient lungs. The data suggest that decreased APC may be a cause of increased risk or severity of PH in genetically susceptible individuals.
Circulation Research 09/2012; · 11.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mechanical ventilation (MV) with O(2)-rich gas (MV-O(2)) offers life-saving treatment for newborn infants with respiratory failure, but it also can promote lung injury, which in neonates translates to defective alveolar formation and disordered lung elastin, a key determinant of lung growth and repair. Prior studies in preterm sheep and neonatal mice showed that MV-O(2) stimulated lung elastase activity, causing degradation and remodeling of matrix elastin. These changes yielded an inflammatory response, with TGF-β activation, scattered elastic fibers, and increased apoptosis, culminating in defective alveolar septation and arrested lung growth. To see whether sustained inhibition of elastase activity would prevent these adverse pulmonary effects of MV-O(2), we did studies comparing wild-type (WT) and mutant neonatal mice genetically modified to express in their vascular endothelium the human serine elastase inhibitor elafin (Eexp). Five-day-old WT and Eexp mice received MV with 40% O(2) (MV-O(2)) for 24-36 h. WT and Eexp controls breathed 40% O(2) without MV. MV-O(2) increased lung elastase and MMP-9 activity, resulting in elastin degradation (urine desmosine doubled), TGF-β activation (pSmad-2 increased 6-fold), apoptosis (cleaved-caspase-3 increased 10-fold), and inflammation (NF-κB activation, influx of neutrophils and monocytes) in lungs of WT vs. unventilated controls. These changes were blocked or blunted during MV-O(2) of Eexp mice. Scattered lung elastin and emphysematous alveoli observed in WT mice after 36 h of MV-O(2) were attenuated in Eexp mice. Both WT and Eexp mice showed defective VEGF signaling (decreased lung VEGF-R2 protein) and loss of pulmonary microvessels after lengthy MV-O(2), suggesting that elafin's beneficial effects during MV-O(2) derived primarily from preserving matrix elastin and suppressing lung inflammation, thereby enabling alveolar formation during MV-O(2). These results suggest that degradation and remodeling of lung elastin can contribute to defective lung growth in response to MV-O(2) and might be targeted therapeutically to prevent ventilator-induced neonatal lung injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the incidence of pulmonary hypertension is higher in female patients, numerous experimental studies have demonstrated better outcome in female animals, exacerbation of the disease after ovariectomy, and a strong protective effect of estrogen: a phenomenon known as the "estrogen paradox" of pulmonary hypertension. On the other hand, some clinical studies have indirectly linked estrogen to increased risk of portopulmonary hypertension, whereas others implicate increased estrogen metabolism and high levels of certain estrogen metabolites in promoting pulmonary vascular remodeling in familial pulmonary arterial hypertension. In this review we investigate the estrogen paradox through highlighting the differential receptor-mediated effects of estrogen. Although estrogen and estrogen receptor-based therapies have shown promise in rescuing preexisting pulmonary hypertension in animals, their role is yet to be defined in humans.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2012; 186(2):125-31. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced vascular expression of bone morphogenetic protein type IA receptor (Bmpr1a) has been found in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Our previous studies in mice with patchy deletion of Bmpr1a in vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiac myocytes showed decreased distal vascular remodeling despite a similar severity of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). We speculate increased stiffness from ectopic deposition of collagen in proximal pulmonary arteries might account for HPH. Pulsatile pressure-flow relationships were measured in isolated, ventilated, perfused lungs of SM22α;TRE-Cre;R26R;Bmpr1a ( flox/flox ) (KO) mice and wild-type littermates, following 21 days (hypoxia) and 0 days (control) of chronic hypoxia. Pulmonary vascular impedance, which yields insight into proximal and distal arterial remodeling, was calculated. Reduced Bmpr1a expression had no effect on input impedance Z (0) (P = 0.52) or characteristic impedance Z (C) (P = 0.18) under control conditions; it also had no effect on the decrease in Z (0) via acute rho kinase inhibition. However, following chronic hypoxia, reduced Bmpr1a expression increased Z (C) (P < 0.001) without affecting Z (0) (P = 0.72). These results demonstrate that Bmpr1a deficiency does not significantly alter the hemodynamic function of the distal vasculature or its response to chronic hypoxia but larger, more proximal arteries are affected. In particular, reduced Bmpr1a expression likely decreased dilatation and increased stiffening in response to hypoxia, probably by collagen accumulation. Increased PA stiffness can have a significant impact on right ventricular function. This study illustrates for the first time how proximal pulmonary artery changes in the absence of distal pulmonary artery changes contribute to pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 02/2012; · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic and familial forms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) occur more frequently in women than men. However, the reason for this remains unknown. Both the calcium binding protein S100A4/Mts1 (Mts1) and its endogenous receptor (receptor for advanced glycosylation end products; RAGE) have been implicated in the development of PAH. We wished to investigate if the Mts1/RAGE pathway may play a role in the gender bias associated with PAH.
We investigated the effects of gender on development of PAH in mice over-expressing Mts1 (Mts1+ mice) via measurement of pulmonary arterial remodeling, systolic right ventricular pressure (sRVP) and right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH). Gender differences in pulmonary arterial Mts1 and RAGE expression were assessed by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Western blotting and cell counts were used to investigate interactions between 17β-estradiol, Mts1 and RAGE on proliferation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (hPASMCs). Statistical analysis was by one-way analysis of variance with Dunnetts post test or two-way analysis of variance with Bonferronis post test, as appropriate.
Female Mts1+ mice developed increased sRVP and pulmonary vascular remodeling, whereas male Mts1+ mice remained unaffected. The development of plexiform-like lesions in Mts1+ mice was specific to females. These lesions stained positive for both Mts1 and RAGE in the endothelial and adventitial layers. Expression of pulmonary arterial Mts1 was greater in female than male Mts1+ mice, and was localised to the medial and adventitial layers in non plexiform-like pulmonary arteries. RAGE gene expression and immunoreactivity were similar between male and female Mts1+ mice and RAGE staining was localised to the endothelial layer in non plexiform-like pulmonary arteries adjacent to airways. In non-plexiform like pulmonary arteries not associated with airways RAGE staining was present in the medial and adventitial layers. Physiological concentrations of 17β-estradiol increased Mts1 expression in hPASMCs. 17β-estradiol-induced hPASMC proliferation was inhibited by soluble RAGE, which antagonises the membrane bound form of RAGE.
Mts1 over-expression combined with female gender is permissive to the development of experimental PAH in mice. Up-regulation of Mts1 and subsequent activation of RAGE may contribute to 17β-estradiol-induced proliferation of hPASMCs.
Respiratory research 12/2011; 12:159. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (M1-MHV-68) induces pulmonary artery (PA) neointimal lesions in S100A4-overexpressing, but not in wild-type (C57), mice. Lesions were associated with heightened lung elastase activity and PA elastin degradation. We now investigate a direct relationship between elastase and PA neointimal lesions, the nature and source of the enzyme, and its presence in clinical disease. We found an association exists between the percentage of PAs with neointimal lesions and elastin fragmentation in S100A4 mice 6 months after viral infection. Confocal microscopy documented the heightened susceptibility of S100A4 versus C57 PA elastin to degradation by elastase. A transient increase in lung elastase activity occurs in S100A4 mice, 7 days after M1-MHV-68, unrelated to inflammation or viral load and before neointimal lesions. Administration of recombinant elafin, an elastase-specific inhibitor, ameliorates early increases in serine elastase and attenuates later development of neointimal lesions. Neutrophils are the source of elevated elastase (NE) in the S100A4 lung, and NE mRNA and protein levels are greater in PA smooth muscle cells (SMC) from S100A4 mice than from C57 mice. Furthermore, elevated NE is observed in cultured PA SMC from idiopathic PA hypertension versus that in control lungs and localizes to neointimal lesions. Thus, PA SMC produce NE, and heightened production and activity of NE is linked to experimental and clinical pulmonary vascular disease.
American Journal Of Pathology 09/2011; 179(3):1560-72. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an incurable disease associated with viral infections and connective tissue diseases. The relationship between inflammation and disease pathogenesis in these disorders remains poorly understood.
To determine whether immune dysregulation due to absent T-cell populations directly contributes to the development of PAH.
Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) blockade induced significant pulmonary endothelial apoptosis in T-cell-deficient rats but not in immune-reconstituted (IR) rats. T cell-lymphopenia in association with VEGFR2 blockade resulted in periarteriolar inflammation with macrophages, and B cells even prior to vascular remodeling and elevated pulmonary pressures. IR prevented early inflammation and attenuated PAH development. IR with either CD8 T cells alone or with CD4-depleted spleen cells was ineffective in preventing PAH, whereas CD4-depleting immunocompetent euthymic animals increased PAH susceptibility. IR with either CD4(+)CD25(hi) or CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell subsets prior to vascular injury attenuated the development of PAH. IR limited perivascular inflammation and endothelial apoptosis in rat lungs in association with increased FoxP3(+), IL-10- and TGF-β-expressing CD4 cells, and upregulation of pulmonary bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2)-expressing cells, a receptor that activates endothelial cell survival pathways.
PAH may arise when regulatory T-cell (Treg) activity fails to control endothelial injury. These studies suggest that regulatory T cells normally function to limit vascular injury and may protect against the development of PAH.
Circulation Research 08/2011; 109(8):867-79. · 11.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) expression in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) can impair pulmonary arterial EC (PAEC) function. This can adversely affect EC survival and promote SMC proliferation. We hypothesized that interventions to normalize expression of genes that are targets of BMPR2 signaling could restore PAEC function and prevent or reverse PAH. Here we have characterized, in human PAECs, a BMPR2-mediated transcriptional complex between PPARγ and β-catenin and shown that disruption of this complex impaired BMP-mediated PAEC survival. Using whole genome-wide ChIP-Chip promoter analysis and gene expression microarrays, we delineated PPARγ/β-catenin-dependent transcription of target genes including APLN, which encodes apelin. We documented reduced PAEC expression of apelin in PAH patients versus controls. In cell culture experiments, we showed that apelin-deficient PAECs were prone to apoptosis and promoted pulmonary arterial SMC (PASMC) proliferation. Conversely, we established that apelin, like BMPR2 ligands, suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis of PASMCs. Consistent with these functions, administration of apelin reversed PAH in mice with reduced production of apelin resulting from deletion of PPARγ in ECs. Taken together, our findings suggest that apelin could be effective in treating PAH by rescuing BMPR2 and PAEC dysfunction.
The Journal of clinical investigation 08/2011; 121(9):3735-46. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mechanical ventilation with O₂-rich gas (MV-O₂) offers life-saving treatment for respiratory failure, but also promotes lung injury. We previously reported that MV-O2 of newborn mice increased lung elastase activity, causing elastin degradation and redistribution of elastic fibers from septal tips to alveolar walls. These changes were associated with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β activation and increased apoptosis leading to defective alveolarization and lung growth arrest, as seen in neonatal chronic lung disease.
To determine if intratracheal treatment of newborn mice with the serine elastase inhibitor elafin would prevent MV-O₂-induced lung elastin degradation and the ensuing cascade of events causing lung growth arrest.
Five-day-old mice were treated via tracheotomy with recombinant human elafin or vehicle (lactated-Ringer solution), followed by MV with 40% O₂ for 8-24 hours; control animals breathed 40% O₂ without MV. At study's end, lungs were harvested to assess key variables noted below.
MV-O₂ of vehicle-treated pups increased lung elastase and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity when compared with unventilated control animals, causing elastin degradation (urine desmosine doubled), TGF-β activation (pSmad-2 tripled), and apoptosis (cleaved-caspase-3 increased 10-fold). Quantitative lung histology showed larger and fewer alveoli, greater inflammation, and scattered elastic fibers. Elafin blocked these MV-O₂-induced changes.
Intratracheal elafin, by blocking lung protease activity, prevented MV-O₂-induced elastin degradation, TGF-β activation, apoptosis, and dispersion of matrix elastin, and attenuated lung structural abnormalities noted in vehicle-treated mice after 24 hours of MV-O₂. These findings suggest that elastin breakdown contributes to defective lung growth in response to MV-O₂ and might be targeted therapeutically to prevent MV-O₂-induced lung injury.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2011; 184(5):537-46. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autophagy, a cellular process for organelle and protein turnover, regulates innate immune responses. Here we demonstrate that depletion of the autophagic proteins LC3B and beclin 1 enhanced the activation of caspase-1 and secretion of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. Depletion of autophagic proteins promoted the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and cytosolic translocation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ATP in macrophages. Release of mtDNA into the cytosol depended on the NALP3 inflammasome and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cytosolic mtDNA contributed to the secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 in response to LPS and ATP. LC3B-deficient mice produced more caspase-1-dependent cytokines in two sepsis models and were susceptible to LPS-induced mortality. Our study suggests that autophagic proteins regulate NALP3-dependent inflammation by preserving mitochondrial integrity.