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Eur Respir J. 2018 Feb 1. pii: 1701024. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01024-2017. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ on hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.

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Excellence Cluster Cardiopulmonary System, University of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC), member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Justus-Liebig-University, 35392 Giessen, Germany.
MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, CB2 0XY Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Institut für Kardiovaskuläre Physiologie, Goethe-Universität, German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), Partner site RheinMain, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.


Increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly superoxide have been suggested to mediate hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV), chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right ventricular (RV) remodelling.We determined ROS in acute, chronic hypoxia and investigated the effect of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ under these conditions.The effect of MitoQ or its inactive carrier substance, decyltriphenylphosphonium (TPP+), on acute HPV (1% O2 for 10 minutes) was investigated in isolated blood-free perfused mouse lungs. Mice exposed for 4 weeks to chronic hypoxia (10% O2) or after banding of the main pulmonary artery (PAB) were treated with MitoQ or TPP+ (50 mg/kg/day).Total cellular superoxide and mitochondrial ROS levels were increased in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC), but decreased in pulmonary fibroblasts in acute hypoxia. MitoQ significantly inhibited HPV and acute hypoxia-induced rise in superoxide concentration. ROS was decreased in PASMC, while it increased in the RV after chronic hypoxia. Correspondingly, MitoQ did not affect the development of chronic hypoxia-induced PH, but attenuated RV remodelling after chronic hypoxia as well as after PAB.Increased mitochondrial ROS of PASMC mediate acute HPV, but not chronic hypoxia-induced PH. MitoQ may be beneficial under conditions of exaggerated acute HPV.

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