Basement membrane extracellular matrix proteins in pulmonary vascular and right ventricular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The extracellular matrix (ECM), a highly organized network of structural and nonstructural proteins, plays a pivotal role in cellular and tissue homeostasis. Changes in the ECM are critical for normal tissue repair, whereas dysregulation contributes to aberrant tissue remodeling. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a severe disorder of the pulmonary vasculature characterized by pathologic remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricle, increased production and deposition of structural and nonstructural proteins, and altered expression of ECM growth factors and proteases. Furthermore, ECM remodeling plays a significant role in disease progression, as several dynamic changes in its composition, quantity, and organization are documented in both humans and animal models of disease. These ECM changes impact vascular cell biology and affect proliferation of resident cells. Furthermore, ECM components determine the tissue architecture of the pulmonary and myocardial vasculature as well as the myocardium itself and provide mechanical stability crucial for tissue homeostasis. However, little is known about the basement membrane (BM), a specialized, self-assembled conglomerate of ECM proteins, during remodeling. In the vasculature, the BM is in close physical association with the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells. While in the myocardium, each cardiomyocyte is enclosed by a BM that serves as the interface between cardiomyocytes and the surrounding interstitial matrix. In this review, we provide a brief overview on the current state of knowledge of the BM and its ECM composition and their impact on pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricle dysfunction and failure in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Basement membrane
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Right ventricle
  • Vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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