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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Feb 15;306(4):L361-71. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00277.2013. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Endothelin-1 decreases endothelial PPARγ signaling and impairs angiogenesis after chronic intrauterine pulmonary hypertension.

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Perinatal Research Facility, 13243 E. 23rd Ave., Mail Stop F441, Aurora, CO 80045.


Increased endothelin-1 (ET-1) disrupts angiogenesis in persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), but pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is decreased in adult pulmonary hypertension, but whether ET-1-PPARγ interactions impair endothelial cell function and angiogenesis in PPHN remains unknown. We hypothesized that increased PPHN pulmonary artery endothelial cell (PAEC) ET-1 production decreases PPARγ signaling and impairs tube formation in vitro. Proximal PAECs were harvested from fetal sheep after partial ligation of the ductus arteriosus in utero (PPHN) and controls. PPARγ and phospho-PPARγ protein were compared between normal and PPHN PAECs ± ET-1 and bosentan (ETA/ETB receptor blocker). Tube formation was assessed in response to PPARγ agonists ± ET-1, N-nitro-l-arginine (LNA) (NOS inhibitor), and PPARγ siRNA. Endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), phospho-eNOS, and NO production were measured after exposure to PPARγ agonists and PPARγ siRNA. At baseline, PPHN PAECs demonstrate decreased tube formation and PPARγ protein expression and activity. PPARγ agonists restored PPHN tube formation to normal. ET-1 decreased normal and PPHN PAEC tube formation, which was rescued by PPARγ agonists. ET-1 decreased PPARγ protein and activity, which was prevented by bosentan. PPARγ agonists increased eNOS protein and activity and NO production in normal and PPHN PAECs. LNA inhibited the effect of PPARγ agonists on tube formation. PPARγ siRNA decreased eNOS protein and tube formation in normal PAECs. We conclude that ET-1 decreases PPARγ signaling and contributes to PAEC dysfunction and impaired angiogenesis in PPHN. We speculate that therapies aimed at decreasing ET-1 production will restore PPARγ signaling, preserve endothelial function, and improve angiogenesis in PPHN.


angiogenesis; endothelin-1 (ET-1); peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ); persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN); pulmonary artery endothelial cell

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