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Pulmonary endothelial injury in the context of perturbed transforming growth factor beta signalling as a unique model of pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma

Derrett-Smith, E, Dooley, A, Trinder, S, Holmes, A, Abraham, D and Denton, C (2014) Pulmonary endothelial injury in the context of perturbed transforming growth factor beta signalling as a unique model of pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma In: Spring Meeting for Clinician Scientists in Training February 2014, 2014-02-01 - ?.

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Background The development of pulmonary arterial hypertension in scleroderma remains an important contributor to mortality in this condition, despite substantial improvements in outcomes due to modern therapeutic strategies. No animal models of scleroderma develop this important complication. We describe the constitutive vascular phenotype of a mouse model of scleroderma and show that pulmonary endothelial injury replicates the pathological changes of pulmonary arterial hypertension seen in human disease. Methods The TβRIIΔk-fib mouse strain expresses a kinase-deficient type II transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) receptor driven by a fibroblast-specific promoter leading to ligand-dependent upregulation of TGFβ signalling; this mouse strain replicates key fibrotic features of scleroderma. We did structural, biochemical, and functional assessments of pulmonary and systemic vessels, including in-vivo haemodynamic studies, before and after vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibition with SU5416, which induced pulmonary endothelial cell apoptosis. These assessments included biochemical analysis of the TGFβ, endothelin, and VEGF signalling axes in vivo; tissue sections; and explanted pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Findings In the TβRIIΔk-fib mouse strain, a constitutive pulmonary vasculopathy with medial thickening, a perivascular proliferating chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate, and mildly raised pulmonary artery pressures resemble the well-described chronic hypoxia model of pulmonary hypertension. After administration of SU5416, the pulmonary vascular phenotype was more florid, with pulmonary arteriolar luminal obliteration by apoptosis-resistant proliferating endothelial cells; the result was right ventricular hypertrophy confirming haemodynamically significant pulmonary arterial hypertension. Altered TGFβ, endothelin, and ligand and receptor expression of VEGF were consistent with a scleroderma phenotype. Interpretation This study replicates key features of scleroderma-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension in a mouse model. Our results suggest that pulmonary endothelial cell injury in a genetically susceptible mouse strain triggers this complication and support functional interplay between TGFβ, endothelin, and VEGF that provides insight into pathogenesis.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Abstract)
Subjects : Biosciences
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Derrett-Smith, E
Dooley, A
Holmes, A
Abraham, D
Denton, C
Date : 26 February 2014
Funders : Arthritis Research UK.
DOI : 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60274-9
Contributors :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:45
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 16:11

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