Alpha-enolase regulates the malignant phenotype of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells via the AMPK-Akt pathway.
ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic shift toward increased glycolysis observed in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) during the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are not fully understood. Here we show that the glycolytic enzyme ?-enolase (ENO1) regulates the metabolic reprogramming and malignant phenotype of PASMC. We show that ENO1 levels are elevated in patients with associated PAH and in animal models of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). The silencing or inhibition of ENO1 decreases PASMC proliferation and de-differentiation, and induces PASMC apoptosis, whereas the overexpression of ENO1 promotes a synthetic, de- differentiated, and apoptotic-resistant phenotype via the AMPK-Akt pathway. The suppression of ENO1 prevents the hypoxia-induced metabolic shift from mitochondrial respiration to glycolysis in PASMC. Finally, we find that pharmacological inhibition of ENO1 reverses HPH in mice and rats, suggesting ENO1 as a regulator of pathogenic metabolic reprogramming in HPH.
Project description:Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) upregulation is associated with pathologic pulmonary vascular remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but the mechanisms controlling its expression are undefined. In this study, we sought to characterize the regulation of SphK1 expression by micro-RNAs (miRs). In silico analysis of the SphK1 3'-untranslated region identified several putative miR binding sites, with miR-1-3p (miR-1) being the most highly predicted target. Therefore we further investigated the role of miR-1 in modulating SphK1 expression and characterized its effects on the phenotype of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and the development of experimental pulmonary hypertension in vivo. Our results demonstrate that miR-1 is downregulated by hypoxia in PASMCs and can directly inhibit SphK1 expression. Overexpression of miR-1 in human PASMCs inhibits basal and hypoxia-induced proliferation and migration. Human PASMCs isolated from PAH patients exhibit reduced miR-1 expression. We also demonstrate that miR-1 is downregulated in mouse lung tissues during experimental hypoxia-mediated pulmonary hypertension (HPH), consistent with upregulation of SphK1. Furthermore, administration of miR-1 mimics in vivo prevented the development of HPH in mice and attenuated induction of SphK1 in PASMCs. These data reveal the importance of miR-1 in regulating SphK1 expression during hypoxia in PASMCs. A pivotal role is played by miR-1 in pulmonary vascular remodeling, including PASMC proliferation and migration, and its overexpression protects from the development of HPH in vivo. These studies improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.
Project description:Chronic hypoxia is an inciting factor for the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The mechanisms involved in the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH) include hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1)-dependent transactivation of genes controlling pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and pH. Recently, digoxin was shown to inhibit HIF-1 transcriptional activity. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that digoxin could prevent and reverse the development of HPH. Mice were injected daily with saline or digoxin and exposed to room air or ambient hypoxia for 3 wk. Treatment with digoxin attenuated the development of right ventricle (RV) hypertrophy and prevented the pulmonary vascular remodeling and increases in PASMC [Ca(2+)](i), pH, and RV pressure that occur in mice exposed to chronic hypoxia. When started after pulmonary hypertension was established, digoxin attenuated the hypoxia-induced increases in RV pressure and PASMC pH and [Ca(2+)](i). These preclinical data support a role for HIF-1 inhibitors in the treatment of HPH.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Sustained pulmonary vasoconstriction and excessive pulmonary vascular remodelling are two major causes of elevated pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether chloroquine induced relaxation in the pulmonary artery (PA) and attenuates hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (HPH). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:Isometric tension was measured in rat PA rings pre-constricted with phenylephrine or high K+ solution. PA pressure was measured in mouse isolated, perfused and ventilated lungs. Fura-2 fluorescence microscopy was used to measure cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration levels in PA smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Patch-clamp experiments were performed to assess the activity of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs) in PASMC. Rats exposed to hypoxia (10% O2 ) for 3 weeks were used as the model of HPH or Sugen5416/hypoxia (SuHx) for in vivo experiments. KEY RESULTS:Chloroquine attenuated agonist-induced and high K+ -induced contraction in isolated rat PA. Pretreatment with l-NAME or indomethacin and functional removal of endothelium failed to inhibit chloroquine-induced PA relaxation. In PASMC, extracellular application of chloroquine attenuated store-operated Ca2+ entry and ATP-induced Ca2+ entry. Furthermore, chloroquine also inhibited whole-cell Ba2+ currents through VDCC in PASMC. In vivo experiments demonstrated that chloroquine treatment ameliorated the HPH and SuHx models. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Chloroquine is a potent pulmonary vasodilator that may directly or indirectly block VDCC, store-operated Ca2+ channels and receptor-operated Ca2+ channels in PASMC. The therapeutic potential of chloroquine in pulmonary hypertension is probably due to the combination of its vasodilator, anti-proliferative and anti-autophagic effects.
Project description:Inflammation and vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic switching are causally linked to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) pathogenesis. Carbonic anhydrase inhibition induces mild metabolic acidosis and exerts protective effects in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Carbonic anhydrases and metabolic acidosis are further known to modulate immune cell activation. To evaluate if carbonic anhydrase inhibition modulates macrophage activation, inflammation, and VSMC phenotypic switching in severe experimental pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary hypertension was assessed in Sugen 5416/hypoxia (SU/Hx) rats after treatment with acetazolamide or ammonium chloride (NH4Cl). We evaluated pulmonary and systemic inflammation and characterized the effect of carbonic anhydrase inhibition and metabolic acidosis in alveolar macrophages and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). We further evaluated the treatment effects on VSMC phenotypic switching in pulmonary arteries and pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and corroborated some of our findings in lungs and pulmonary arteries of patients with PAH. Both patients with idiopathic PAH and SU/Hx rats had increased expression of lung inflammatory markers and signs of PASMC dedifferentiation in pulmonary arteries. Acetazolamide and NH4Cl ameliorated SU/Hx-induced pulmonary hypertension and blunted pulmonary and systemic inflammation. Expression of carbonic anhydrase isoform 2 was increased in alveolar macrophages from SU/Hx animals, classically (M1) and alternatively (M2) activated BMDMs, and lungs of patients with PAH. Carbonic anhydrase inhibition and acidosis had distinct effects on M1 and M2 markers in BMDMs. Inflammatory cytokines drove PASMC dedifferentiation, and this was inhibited by acetazolamide and acidosis. The protective antiinflammatory effect of acetazolamide in pulmonary hypertension is mediated by a dual mechanism of macrophage carbonic anhydrase inhibition and systemic metabolic acidosis.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a lethal disease generally characterized by pulmonary artery remodeling. Mitochondrial metabolic disorders have been implicated as a critical regulator of excessively proliferative- and apoptosis-resistant phenotypes in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Dichloroacetate (DCA) is an emerging drug that targets aerobic glycolysis in tumor cells. Atorvastatin (ATO) is widely used for hyperlipemia in various cardiovascular diseases. Considering that DCA and ATO regulate glucose and lipid metabolism, respectively, we hypothesized that the combination of DCA and ATO could be a potential treatment for PAH. A notable decrease in the right ventricular systolic pressure accompanied by reduced right heart hypertrophy was observed in the DCA/ATO combination treatment group compared with the monocrotaline treatment group. The DCA/ATO combination treatment alleviated vascular remodeling, thereby suppressing excessive PASMC proliferation and macrophage infiltration. In vitro, both DCA and ATO alone reduced PASMC viability by upregulating oxidative stress and lowering mitochondrial membrane potential. Surprisingly, when combined, DCA/ATO was able to decrease the levels of reactive oxygen species and cell apoptosis without compromising PASMC proliferation. Furthermore, suppression of the p38 pathway through the specific inhibitor SB203580 attenuated cell death and oxidative stress at a level consistent with that of DCA/ATO combination treatment. These observations suggested a complementary effect of DCA and ATO on rescuing PASMCs from a PAH phenotype through p38 activation via the regulation of mitochondrial-related cell death and oxidative stress. DCA in combination with ATO may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for PAH treatment.
Project description:Vascular remodeling is considered a key event in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, mechanisms of gaining the proliferative phenotype by pulmonary vascular cells are still unresolved. Due to well-established pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) deficiency in PAH pathogenesis, we hypothesized that the activation of another branch of pyruvate metabolism, anaplerosis, via pyruvate carboxylase (PC) could be a key contributor to the metabolic reprogramming of the vasculature. In sugen/hypoxic PAH rats, vascular proliferation was found to be accompanied by increased activation of Akt signaling, which upregulated membrane Glut4 translocation and caused upregulation of hexokinase and pyruvate kinase-2, and an overall increase in the glycolytic flux. Decreased PDH activity and upregulation of PC shuttled more pyruvate to oxaloacetate. This results in the anaplerotic reprogramming of lung vascular cells and their subsequent proliferation. Treatment of sugen/hypoxia rats with the PC inhibitor, phenylacetic acid 20 mg/kg, starting after one week from disease induction, significantly attenuated right ventricular systolic pressure, Fulton index, and pulmonary vascular cell proliferation. PC inhibition reduced the glycolytic shift by attenuating Akt-signaling, glycolysis, and restored mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation. Our findings suggest that targeting PC mediated anaplerosis is a potential therapeutic intervention for the resolution of vascular remodeling in PAH.
Project description:Abstract Pulmonary vascular remodeling is the most important pathological characteristic of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). No effective treatment for PAH is currently available because the mechanism underlying vascular remodeling is not completely clear. CD248, also known as endosialin, is a transmembrane protein that is highly expressed in pericytes and fibroblasts. Here, we evaluated the role of CD248 in pulmonary vascular remodeling and the processes of PAH pathogenesis. Activation of CD248 in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) was found to be proportional to the severity of PAH. CD248 contributed to platelet?derived growth factor?BB (PDGF?BB)?induced PASMC proliferation and migration along with the shift to more synthetic phenotypes. In contrast, treatment with Cd248 siRNA or the anti?CD248 therapeutic antibody (ontuxizumab) significantly inhibited the PDGF signaling pathway, obstructed NF??B p65?mediated transcription of Nox4, and decreased reactive oxygen species production induced by PDGF?BB in PAMSCs. In addition, knockdown of CD248 alleviated pulmonary vascular remodeling in rat PAH models. This study provides novel insights into the dysfunction of PASMCs leading to pulmonary vascular remodeling, and provides evidence for anti?remodeling treatment for PAH via the immediate targeting of CD248. CD248 as a novel therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Expression of CD248 contributed to platelet?derived growth factor?BB (PDGF?BB)?induced PASMC proliferation and migration along with the shift to more synthetic phenotypes. Besides, treatment of human PASMCs with PDGF?BB, to explore the PAH signaling, exhibited ERK and NF??B activation, enhanced NOX4 activity, and reactive oxygen species production.
Project description:Although multiple gene and protein expression have been extensively profiled in human pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), the mechanism for the development and progression of pulmonary hypertension remains elusive. Analysis of the global metabolomic heterogeneity within the pulmonary vascular system leads to a better understanding of disease progression. Using a combination of high-throughput liquid-and-gas-chromatography-based mass spectrometry, we showed unbiased metabolomic profiles of disrupted glycolysis, increased TCA cycle, and fatty acid metabolites with altered oxidation pathways in the severe human PAH lung. The results suggest that PAH has specific metabolic pathways contributing to increased ATP synthesis for the vascular remodeling process in severe pulmonary hypertension. These identified metabolites may serve as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of severe PAH. By profiling metabolomic alterations of the PAH lung, we reveal new pathogenic mechanisms of PAH in its later stage, which may differ from the earlier stage of PAH, opening an avenue of exploration for therapeutics that target metabolic pathway alterations in the progression of PAH. Global profiles were determined in human lung tissue and compared across 11 normal and 12 severe pulmonary arterial hypertension patients. Using a combination of microarray and high-throughput liquid-and-gas-chromatography-based mass spectrometry, we showed unbiased metabolomic profiles of disrupted glycolysis, increased TCA cycle, and fatty acid metabolites with altered oxidation pathways in the severe human PAH lung.
Project description:Human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC) were isolated from elastic pulmonary arteries dissected from lungs of individuals with and without pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Reflecting increased smooth muscle constriction in cells from PAH subject, Ca(2+) influx in response to endothelin-1 (ET-1) increased in all the PAH PASMC populations relative to the normal donor control cells. The ETA receptor mRNA levels remained unchanged, whereas the ETB receptor mRNA levels decreased in both heritable and idiopathic PAH-derived PASMC. All the PASMC populations expressed considerably higher ETA compared to ETB receptor number. Both ETA and ETB receptor numbers were reduced in bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2) mutation PAH. ETB receptors showed a particular reduction in number. Phospho-antibody array analysis of normal and BMPR2 deletion PASMC illustrated ERK and Akt activation to be the most prominent and to be taking place principally through ETB receptors in normal PASMC, but primarily through ETA receptors in PASMC from BMPR2 PAH subjects. Additionally in the PAH cells the total relative ET-1 signal response was markedly reduced. Western analysis from the BMPR2 PASMC duplicated the array results, whereas PASMC from iPAH subjects showed variability with most samples continuing to signal through ETB. In sum, these results indicate that generally both receptors are reduced in PAH particularly ETB, and that ETB signaling through protein kinases becomes markedly reduced in BMPR2 PASMC, while it continues in IPAH. Importantly, the data suggest that caution must be taken when applying ET-1 receptor antagonist therapy to PAH patients.
Project description:Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a proliferative arteriopathy associated with glucose transporter-1 (Glut1) up-regulation and a glycolytic shift in lung metabolism. Glycolytic metabolism can be detected with the positron emission tomography (PET) tracer (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG).The precise cell type in which glycolytic abnormalities occur in PAH is unknown. Moreover, whether FDG-PET is sufficiently sensitive to monitor PAH progression and detect therapeutic regression is untested. We hypothesized that increased lung FDG-PET reflects enhanced glycolysis in vascular cells and is reversible in response to effective therapies.PAH was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by monocrotaline or chronic hypoxia (10% oxygen) in combination with Sugen 5416. Monocrotaline rats were treated with oral dichloroacetate or daily imatinib injections. FDG-PET scans and pulmonary artery acceleration times were obtained weekly. The origin of the PET signal was assessed by laser capture microdissection of airway versus vascular tissue. Metabolism was measured in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) cultures, using a Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer.Lung FDG increases 1-2 weeks after monocrotaline (when PAH is mild) and is normalized by dichloroacetate and imatinib, which both also regress medial hypertrophy. Glut1 mRNA is up-regulated in both endothelium and PASMCs, but not airway cells or macrophages. PASMCs from monocrotaline rats are hyperproliferative and display normoxic activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1? (HIF-1?), which underlies their glycolytic phenotype.HIF-1?-mediated Glut1 up-regulation in proliferating vascular cells in PAH accounts for increased lung FDG-PET uptake. FDG-PET is sensitive to mild PAH and can monitor therapeutic changes in the vasculature.