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Am J Pathol. 2013 Nov;183(5):1461-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2013.07.017.

Treatment with anti-gremlin 1 antibody ameliorates chronic hypoxia/SU5416-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension in mice.

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Respiratory Disease Area, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Horsham, West Sussex, United Kingdom.


The expression of the bone morphogenetic protein antagonist, Gremlin 1, was recently shown to be increased in the lungs of pulmonary arterial hypertension patients, and in response to hypoxia. Gremlin 1 released from the vascular endothelium may inhibit endogenous bone morphogenetic protein signaling and contribute to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Here, we investigate the impact of Gremlin 1 inhibition in disease after exposure to chronic hypoxia/SU5416 in mice. We investigated the effects of an anti-Gremlin 1 monoclonal antibody in the chronic hypoxia/SU5416 murine model of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Chronic hypoxic/SU5416 exposure of mice induced upregulation of Gremlin 1 mRNA in lung and right ventricle tissue compared with normoxic controls. Prophylactic treatment with an anti-Gremlin 1 neutralizing mAb reduced the hypoxic/SU5416-dependent increase in pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy. Importantly, therapeutic treatment with an anti-Gremlin 1 antibody also reduced pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy indicating a role for Gremlin 1 in the progression of the disease. We conclude that Gremlin 1 plays a role in the development and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension in the murine hypoxia/SU5416 model, and that Gremlin 1 is a potential therapeutic target for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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