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Circ Res. 2007 Sep 28;101(7):734-41. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Interleukin-10 expression mediated by an adeno-associated virus vector prevents monocrotaline-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension in rats.

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  • 1Division of Genetic Therapeutics, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a fatal disease associated with inflammation and pathological remodeling of the pulmonary artery (PA). Interleukin (IL)-10 is a pleiotropic antiinflammatory cytokine with vasculoprotective properties. Here, we report the preventive effects of IL-10 on monocrotaline-induced PAH. Three-week-old Wistar rats were intramuscularly injected with an adeno-associated virus serotype 1 vector expressing IL-10, followed by monocrotaline injection at 7 weeks old. IL-10 transduction significantly improved survival rates of the PAH rats 8 weeks after monocrotaline administration compared with control gene transduction (75% versus 0%, P<0.01). IL-10 also significantly reduced mean PA pressure (22.8+/-1.5 versus 29.7+/-2.8 mm Hg, P<0.05), a weight ratio of right ventricle to left ventricle plus septum (0.35+/-0.04 versus 0.42+/-0.05, P<0.05), and percent medial thickness of the PA (12.9+/-0.3% versus 21.4+/-0.4%, P<0.01) compared with controls. IL-10 significantly reduced macrophage infiltration and vascular cell proliferation in the remodeled PA in vivo. It also significantly decreased the lung levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 and IL-6, which are indicative of PA remodeling. In addition, IL-10 increased the lung level of heme oxygenase-1, which strongly prevents PA remodeling. In vitro analysis revealed that IL-10 significantly inhibited excessive proliferation of cultured human PA smooth muscle cells treated with transforming growth factor-beta1 or the heme oxygenase inhibitor tin protoporphyrin IX. Thus, IL-10 prevented the development of monocrotaline-induced PAH, and these results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of human PAH.

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