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Cardiovasc Res. 2017 Jul 1;113(8):858-868. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvx094.

Matricellular protein thrombospondin-1 in pulmonary hypertension: multiple pathways to disease.

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Medicine, Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2145, Australia.
Heart, Lung, Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
Department of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Diego de León, Hospital Universitario of the Princesa, 62?28006 Madrid, Spain.
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Matricellular proteins are secreted molecules that have affinities for both extracellular matrix and cell surface receptors. Through interaction with structural proteins and the cells that maintain the matrix these proteins can alter matrix strength. Matricellular proteins exert control on cell activity primarily through engagement of membrane receptors that mediate outside-in signaling. An example of this group is thrombospondin-1 (TSP1), first identified as a component of the secreted product of activated platelets. As a result, TSP1 was initially studied in relation to coagulation, growth factor signaling and angiogenesis. More recently, TSP1 has been found to alter the effects of the gaseous transmitter nitric oxide (NO). This latter capacity has provided motivation to study TSP1 in diseases associated with loss of NO signaling as observed in cardiovascular disease and pulmonary hypertension (PH). PH is characterized by progressive changes in the pulmonary vasculature leading to increased resistance to blood flow and subsequent right heart failure. Studies have linked TSP1 to pre-clinical animal models of PH and more recently to clinical PH. This review will provide analysis of the vascular and non-vascular effects of TSP1 that contribute to PH, the experimental and translational studies that support a role for TSP1 in disease promotion and frame the relevance of these findings to therapeutic strategies.


CD47; Endothelin-1; Nitric  oxide; Nox1; Pulmonary  hypertension; ROS; Thrombospondin-1; Vasorelaxation; cMyc; eNOS

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