Pulmonary vascular changes 22 years after single lung transplantation for pulmonary arterial hypertension: a case report with molecular and pathological analysis.
ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to characterize the molecular and pathological mechanisms of pulmonary vascular remodeling in a patient who developed chronic lung allograft dysfunction and recurrent pulmonary hypertension (PH) 22 years after undergoing a right single lung transplantation for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Histopathologic examination of the explanted lungs at the time of retransplantation showed characteristics of diffuse vascular remodeling combined with features of acute and chronic thromboemboli and evidence of bronchiolitis obliterans in the right lung allograft. In contrast, the native left lung demonstrated pulmonary arterial changes in keeping with PAH associated with disseminated pulmonary ossification. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot-performed on the first lung allograft, the native lung, and the new donor lung-demonstrated increased expression of apoptotic-related gene and protein levels in the lung allograft compared with the native PAH lung and the donor lung. Localization of cell apoptosis determined by triple immunostaining for caspase 3, CD31, and smooth muscle actin was positive in the pulmonary endothelial cells but not the smooth muscle cells of the lung allograft, while no positive staining was detected for cell death in the native PAH lung. The presence of PH in the lung allograft 22 years after transplantation was associated with upregulation of apoptotic markers and evidence of apoptotic endothelial cell death compared with the native lung and donor lung.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains a serious disease, and although current treatments may prolong and improve quality of life, search for novel and effective therapies is warranted. Using genetically modified mouse lines, we tested the ability of bone marrow-derived stromal cells (mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]) to treat chronic hypoxia-induced PAH. Recipient mice were exposed for 5 weeks to normobaric hypoxia (8%-10% O(2)), MSC preparations were delivered through jugular vein injection and their effect on PAH was assessed after two additional weeks in hypoxia. Donor MSCs derived from wild-type (WT) mice or heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) null mice (Hmox1(KO)) conferred partial protection from PAH when transplanted into WT or Hmox1(KO) recipients, whereas treatment with MSCs isolated from transgenic mice harboring a human HO-1 transgene under the control of surfactant protein C promoter (SH01 line) reversed established disease in WT recipients. SH01-MSC treatment of Hmox1(KO) animals, which develop right ventricular (RV) infarction under prolonged hypoxia, resulted in normal RV systolic pressure, significant reduction of RV hypertrophy and prevention of RV infarction. Donor MSCs isolated from a bitransgenic mouse line with doxycycline-inducible, lung-specific expression of HO-1 exhibited similar therapeutic efficacy only on doxycycline treatment of the recipients. In vitro experiments indicate that potential mechanisms of MSC action include modulation of hypoxia-induced lung inflammation and inhibition of smooth muscle cell proliferation. Cumulatively, our results demonstrate that MSCs ameliorate chronic hypoxia-induced PAH and their efficacy is highly augmented by lung-specific HO-1 expression in the transplanted cells, suggesting an interplay between HO-1-dependent and HO-1-independent protective pathways.
Project description:Background: We aimed to evaluate the expression of cysteine rich 61 (Cyr61) in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) as well as monocrotaline (MCT) induced PAH rat, and further investigate the effects and potential mechanisms of Cyr61 on the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Methods and Results: Plasma samples were collected from 20 patients with idiopathic PAH, 20 connective tissue disease (CTD) associated PAH, 29 age-, gender- and disease matched CTD without PAH patients, and 28 healthy controls. ELISA was used to detect the level of Cyr61 in plasma. MCT-induced PAH (MCT-PAH) rat model was established by a single subcutaneous injection of MCT (60mg·kg-1). Lung tissues and pulmonary arteries of rats were collected, while the PASMCs were dissected and cultivated for in vitro experiments. Expression of Cyr61 in the lung tissues, pulmonary arteries and PASMCs were tested by immunohistochemical staining, western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. PASMCs from PAH rats were stimulated by exogenous recombinant Cyr61 protein and knocked down by small interfering RNA. Cell Counting Kit-8 assay was used to identify cell proliferation and the expression of p-AKT and AKT were analysed by western blot. The results showed plasma level of Cyr61 in PAH patients, especially CTD-PAH patients, were significant higher than that of CTD without PAH patients and healthy controls. Compared with wild rats, Cyr61 was overexpressed in the lung tissue, pulmonary arterial and PASMCs in PAH rats. Exogenous recombinant Cyr61 protein promoted the proliferation of PASMCs in a dose-dependent manner. While the expression of Cyr61 in PASMCs was inhibited by specific siRNA, cell proliferation was restrained and the expression of p-AKT declined. Conclusion: Plasma Cyr61 concentration in PAH patients was highly increased. Cyr61 could promote PASMCs proliferation via AKT pathway, indicating that Cyr61 may play a role in the pathogenesis of PAH.
Project description:To assess activation of the inflammatory transcription factor NF-kappa B (NF-?B) in human idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).Idiopathic PAH is a severe progressive disease characterized by pulmonary vascular remodeling and excessive proliferation of vascular cells. Increasing evidence indicates that inflammation is important in disease pathophysiology.NF-?B-p65 and CD68, CD20 and CD45 were measured by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy on lung specimens from patients with idiopathic PAH (n?=?12) and controls undergoing lung surgery (n?=?14). Clinical data were recorded for all patients including invasive pulmonary hemodynamics for the PAH patients. Immunohistochemical images were analyzed by blinded observers to include standard pulmonary vascular morphometry; absolute macrophage counts/mm(2) and p65-positivity (p65+) using composite images and image-analysis software; and cytoplasmic:nuclear p65+ of individual pulmonary arterial endothelial and smooth muscle cells (PASMC) in 10-20 pulmonary arteries or arterioles per subject. The expression of ET-1 and CCL5 (RANTES) in whole lung was determined by RT-qPCR.Macrophage numbers were increased in idiopathic PAH versus controls (49.0±4.5 vs. 7.95±1.9 macrophages/100 mm(2), p<0.0001): these macrophages demonstrated more nuclear p65+ than in macrophages from controls (16.9±2.49 vs. 3.5±1.25%, p<0.001). An increase in p65+ was also seen in perivascular lymphocytes in patients with PAH. Furthermore, NF-?B activation was increased in pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (62.3±2.9 vs. 14.4±3.8, p<0.0001) and PASMC (22.6±2.3 vs. 11.2±2.0, p<0.001) in patients with PAH versus controls, with similar findings in arterioles. Gene expression of both ET-1 mRNA ((0.213±0.069 vs. 1.06±0.23, p<0.01) and CCL5 (RANTES) (0.16±0.045 vs. 0.26±0.039, p<0.05) was increased in whole lung homogenates from patients with PAH.NF-?B is activated in pulmonary macrophages, lymphocytes, endothelial and PASMC in patients with end-stage idiopathic PAH. Future research should determine whether NF-?B activation is a driver or bystander of pulmonary vascular inflammation and if the former, its potential role as a therapeutic target.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a disorder of the pulmonary vasculature associated with elevated pulmonary vascular resistance. Despite recent advances in the treatment of PAH, with eight approved clinical therapies and additional therapies undergoing clinical trials, PAH remains a serious life-threatening condition. The lack of pulmonary vascular selectivity and associated systemic adverse effects of these therapies remain the main obstacles to successful treatment. Peptide-mediated drug delivery that specifically targets the vasculature of PAH lungs may offer a solution to the lack of drug selectivity. Herein, we show highly selective targeting of rat PAH lesions by a novel cyclic peptide, CARSKNKDC (CAR). Intravenous administration of CAR peptide resulted in intense accumulation of the peptide in monocrotaline-induced and SU5416/hypoxia-induced hypertensive lungs but not in healthy lungs or other organs of PAH rats. CAR homed to all layers of remodeled pulmonary arteries, ie, endothelium, neointima, medial smooth muscle, and adventitia, in the hypertensive lungs. CAR also homed to capillary vessels and accumulated in the interstitial space of the PAH lungs, manifesting its extravasation activity. These results demonstrated the remarkable ability of CAR to selectively target PAH lung vasculature and effectively penetrate and spread throughout the diseased lung tissue. These results suggest the clinical utility of CAR in the targeted delivery of therapeutic compounds and imaging probes to PAH lungs.
Project description:Enhanced proliferation and impaired apoptosis of pulmonary arterial vascular smooth muscle cells (PAVSMCs) are key pathophysiologic components of pulmonary vascular remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).To determine the role and therapeutic relevance of HIPPO signaling in PAVSMC proliferation/apoptosis imbalance in PAH.Primary distal PAVSMCs, lung tissue sections from unused donor (control) and idiopathic PAH lungs, and rat and mouse models of SU5416/hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) were used. Immunohistochemical, immunocytochemical, and immunoblot analyses and transfection, infection, DNA synthesis, apoptosis, migration, cell count, and protein activity assays were performed in this study.Immunohistochemical and immunoblot analyses demonstrated that the HIPPO central component large tumor suppressor 1 (LATS1) is inactivated in small remodeled pulmonary arteries (PAs) and distal PAVSMCs in idiopathic PAH. Molecular- and pharmacology-based analyses revealed that LATS1 inactivation and consequent up-regulation of its reciprocal effector Yes-associated protein (Yap) were required for activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-Akt, accumulation of HIF1?, Notch3 intracellular domain and ?-catenin, deficiency of proapoptotic Bim, increased proliferation, and survival of human PAH PAVSMCs. LATS1 inactivation and up-regulation of Yap increased production and secretion of fibronectin that up-regulated integrin-linked kinase 1 (ILK1). ILK1 supported LATS1 inactivation, and its inhibition reactivated LATS1, down-regulated Yap, suppressed proliferation, and promoted apoptosis in PAH, but not control PAVSMCs. PAVSM in small remodeled PAs from rats and mice with SU5416/hypoxia-induced PH showed down-regulation of LATS1 and overexpression of ILK1. Treatment of mice with selective ILK inhibitor Cpd22 at Days 22-35 of SU5416/hypoxia exposure restored LATS1 signaling and reduced established pulmonary vascular remodeling and PH.These data report inactivation of HIPPO/LATS1, self-supported via Yap-fibronectin-ILK1 signaling loop, as a novel mechanism of self-sustaining proliferation and apoptosis resistance of PAVSMCs in PAH and suggest a new potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a vascular remodeling disease with limited therapeutic options. Although exposed to stressful conditions, pulmonary artery (PA) smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) exhibit a "cancer-like" pro-proliferative and anti-apoptotic phenotype. HDAC6 is a cytoplasmic histone deacetylase regulating multiple pro-survival mechanisms and overexpressed in response to stress in cancer cells. Due to the similarities between cancer and PAH, we hypothesized that HDAC6 expression is increased in PAH-PASMCs to face stress allowing them to survive and proliferate, thus contributing to vascular remodeling in PAH. We found that HDAC6 is significantly up-regulated in lungs, distal PAs, and isolated PASMCs from PAH patients and animal models. Inhibition of HDAC6 reduced PAH-PASMC proliferation and resistance to apoptosis in vitro sparing control cells. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that HDAC6 maintains Ku70 in a hypoacetylated state, blocking the translocation of Bax to mitochondria and preventing apoptosis. In vivo, pharmacological inhibition of HDAC6 improved established PAH in two experimental models and can be safely given in combination with currently approved PAH therapies. Moreover, Hdac6 deficient mice were partially protected against chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Our study shows for the first time that HDAC6 is implicated in PAH development and represents a new promising target to improve PAH.
Project description:NOX1 is a catalytic subunit of nonphagocytic NADPH oxidase, mainly localized to smooth muscle cells in the vasculature. We investigated the pathology underlying the pulmonary arterial hypertension-like phenotype demonstrated in mice deficient in the Nox1 gene (Nox1-KO). Spontaneous enlargement and hypertrophy of the right ventricle, accompanied by hypertrophy of pulmonary vessels, were demonstrated in Nox1-KO at 9-18 weeks of age. Since an increased number of α-smooth muscle actin-positive vessels was observed in Nox1-KO, pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) were isolated and characterized by flow cytometry and TUNEL staining. In Nox1-/Y PASMC, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly reduced without any change in the expression of endothelin-1, and hypoxia-inducible factors HIF-1a and HIF-2a, factors implicated in the pathogenesis of PAH. microRNA expression profiling of mouse pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells in wild-type and NOX1-KO was analyzed. Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells were harvested form 3 mice.
Project description:NOX1 is a catalytic subunit of nonphagocytic NADPH oxidase, mainly localized to smooth muscle cells in the vasculature. We investigated the pathology underlying the pulmonary arterial hypertension-like phenotype demonstrated in mice deficient in the Nox1 gene (Nox1-KO). Spontaneous enlargement and hypertrophy of the right ventricle, accompanied by hypertrophy of pulmonary vessels, were demonstrated in Nox1-KO at 9-18 weeks of age. Since an increased number of α-smooth muscle actin-positive vessels was observed in Nox1-KO, pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) were isolated and characterized by flow cytometry and TUNEL staining. In Nox1-/Y PASMC, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly reduced without any change in the expression of endothelin-1, and hypoxia-inducible factors HIF-1a and HIF-2a, factors implicated in the pathogenesis of PAH. Transcriptional profiling of mouse pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells in wild-type and NOX1-KO was analyzed. Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells were harvested from 3 mice.
Project description:Serotonin is produced by pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAEC) via tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph1). Pathologically, serotonin acts on underlying pulmonary arterial cells, contributing to vascular remodeling associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The effects of hypoxia on PAEC-Tph1 activity are unknown. We investigated the potential of a gene therapy approach to PAH using selective inhibition of PAEC-Tph1 in vivo in a hypoxic model of PAH. We exposed cultured bovine pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (bPASMCs) to conditioned media from human PAECs (hPAECs) before and after hypoxic exposure. Serotonin levels were increased in hypoxic PAEC media. Conditioned media evoked bPASMC proliferation, which was greater with hypoxic PAEC media, via a serotonin-dependent mechanism. In vivo, adenoviral vectors targeted to PAECs (utilizing bispecific antibody to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) as the selective targeting system) were used to deliver small hairpin Tph1 RNA sequences in rats. Hypoxic rats developed PAH and increased lung Tph1. PAEC-Tph1 expression and development of PAH were attenuated by our PAEC-Tph1 gene knockdown strategy. These results demonstrate that hypoxia induces Tph1 activity and selective knockdown of PAEC-Tph1 attenuates hypoxia-induced PAH in rats. Further investigation of pulmonary endothelial-specific Tph1 inhibition via gene interventions is warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We previously reported high-throughput RNA sequencing analyses that identified heightened expression of the chromatin architectural factor High Mobility Group AT-hook 1 (HMGA1) in pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs) from patients who had idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in comparison with controls. Because HMGA1 promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in cancer, we hypothesized that increased HMGA1 could induce transition of PAECs to a smooth muscle (SM)-like mesenchymal phenotype (endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition), explaining both dysregulation of PAEC function and possible cellular contribution to the occlusive remodeling that characterizes advanced idiopathic PAH. METHODS AND RESULTS:We documented increased HMGA1 in PAECs cultured from idiopathic PAH versus donor control lungs. Confocal microscopy of lung explants localized the increase in HMGA1 consistently to pulmonary arterial endothelium, and identified many cells double-positive for HMGA1 and SM22? in occlusive and plexogenic lesions. Because decreased expression and function of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) is observed in PAH, we reduced BMPR2 by small interfering RNA in control PAECs and documented an increase in HMGA1 protein. Consistent with transition of PAECs by HMGA1, we detected reduced platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (CD31) and increased endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers, ?SM actin, SM22?, calponin, phospho-vimentin, and Slug. The transition was associated with spindle SM-like morphology, and the increase in ?SM actin was largely reversed by joint knockdown of BMPR2 and HMGA1 or Slug. Pulmonary endothelial cells from mice with endothelial cell-specific loss of Bmpr2 showed similar gene and protein changes. CONCLUSIONS:Increased HMGA1 in PAECs resulting from dysfunctional BMPR2 signaling can transition endothelium to SM-like cells associated with PAH.