Reactive oxygen species induced Ca2+ influx via TRPV4 and microvascular endothelial dysfunction in the SU5416/hypoxia model of pulmonary arterial hypertension

Karthik Suresh, Laura Servinsky, Haiyang Jiang, Zahna Bigham, Xin Yun, Corrine Kliment, John Huetsch, Mahendra Damarla, Larissa A. Shimoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a lethal disease characterized by elevations in pulmonary arterial pressure, in part due to formation of occlusive lesions in the distal arterioles of the lung. These complex lesions may comprise multiple cell types, including endothelial cells (ECs). To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying EC dysfunction in PAH, lung microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs) were isolated from normoxic rats (N-MVECs) and rats subjected to SU5416 plus hypoxia (SuHx), an experimental model of PAH. Compared with N-MVECs, MVECs isolated from SuHx rats (SuHx-MVECs) appeared larger and more spindle shaped morphologically and expressed canonical smooth muscle cell markers smooth muscle-specific α-actin and myosin heavy chain in addition to endothelial markers such as Griffonia simplicifolia and von Willebrand factor. SuHx-MVEC mitochondria were dysfunctional, as evidenced by increased fragmentation/fission, decreased oxidative phosphorylation, and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Functionally, SuHx-MVECs exhibited increased basal levels of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and enhanced migratory and proliferative capacity. Treatment with global (TEMPOL) or mitochondria-specific (MitoQ) antioxidants decreased ROS levels and basal [Ca2]i in SuHx-MVECs. TEMPOL and MitoQ also decreased migration and proliferation in SuHx-MVECs. Additionally, inhibition of ROS-induced Ca2+ entry via pharmacologic blockade of transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) attenuated [Ca2]i, migration, and proliferation. These findings suggest a role for mitochondrial ROS-induced Ca2+ influx via TRPV4 in promoting abnormal migration and proliferation in MVECs in this PAH model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L893-L907
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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