Intermedin modulates hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling by inhibiting pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation

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Pulm Pharmacol Ther


Background: Hypoxic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a disabling disease with limited treatment options. Hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling is a major cause of hypoxic PAH. Pharmacological agents that can inhibit the remodeling process may have great therapeutic value. Objective: To examine the effect of intermedin (IMD), a new calcitonin gene-related peptide family of peptide, on hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling. Methods: Rats were exposed to normoxia or hypoxia (similar to 10% O-2), or exposed to hypoxia and treated with IMD, administered by an implanted mini-osmotic pump (6.5 mu g/rat/day), for 4 weeks. The effects of IMD infusion on the development of hypoxic PAH and right ventricle (RV) hypertrophy, on pulmonary vascular remodeling, on pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation and apoptosis, and on the activations of L-arginine nitric oxide (NO) pathway and endoplasmic reticulum stress apoptotic pathway were examined. Results: Rats exposed to hypoxia developed PAH and RV hypertrophy. IMD treatment alleviated PAH and prevented RV hypertrophy. IMD inhibited hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling as indicated by reduced wall thickness and increased lumen diameter of pulmonary arterioles, and decreased muscularization of distal pulmonary vasculature in hypoxia-exposed rats. IMD treatment inhibited PASMC proliferation and promoted PASMC apoptosis. IMD treatment increased tissue level of constitutive NO synthase activity and tissue NO content in lungs, and enhanced L-arginine uptake into pulmonary vascular tissues. IMD treatment increased cellular levels of glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78 and GRP94, two major markers of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and increased caspase-12 expression, the ER stress-specific caspase, in lungs and cultured PASMCs. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that IMD treatment attenuates hypoxic pulmonary vascular remodeling, and thereby hypoxic PAH mainly by inhibiting PASMC proliferation. Promotion of PASMC apoptosis may also contribute to the inhibitory effect of IMD. Activations L-arginine-NO pathway and of ER stress-specific apoptosis pathway could be the mechanisms mediating the anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects of IMD. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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School of Medicine

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Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine





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