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      ACE2 as therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension: the good outweighs the bad

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      European Respiratory Journal

      European Respiratory Society (ERS)

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          AMP-activated Protein Kinase Phosphorylation of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 in Endothelium Mitigates Pulmonary Hypertension

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            Cytoskeletal defects in Bmpr2-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.

            The heritable form of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is typically caused by a mutation in bone morphogenic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2), and mice expressing Bmpr2 mutations develop PAH with features similar to human disease. BMPR2 is known to interact with the cytoskeleton, and human array studies in PAH patients confirm alterations in cytoskeletal pathways. The goal of this study was to evaluate cytoskeletal defects in BMPR2-associated PAH. Expression arrays on our Bmpr2 mutant mouse lungs revealed cytoskeletal defects as a prominent molecular consequence of universal expression of a Bmpr2 mutation (Rosa26-Bmpr2(R899X)). Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells cultured from these mice have histological and functional cytoskeletal defects. Stable transfection of different BMPR2 mutations into pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells revealed that cytoskeletal defects are common to multiple BMPR2 mutations and are associated with activation of the Rho GTPase, Rac1. Rac1 defects are corrected in cell culture and in vivo through administration of exogenous recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2). rhACE2 reverses 77% of gene expression changes in Rosa26-Bmpr2(R899X) transgenic mice, in particular, correcting defects in cytoskeletal function. Administration of rhACE2 to Rosa26-Bmpr2(R899X) mice with established PAH normalizes pulmonary pressures. Together, these findings suggest that cytoskeletal function is central to the development of BMPR2-associated PAH and that intervention against cytoskeletal defects may reverse established disease.
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              Tissue-specific regulation of ACE/ACE2 and AT1/AT2 receptor gene expression by oestrogen in apolipoprotein E/oestrogen receptor-alpha knock-out mice.

              Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 and the AT1 and AT2 receptors are pivotal points of regulation in the renin-angiotensin system. ACE and ACE2 are key enzymes in the formation and degradation of angiotensin II (Ang II) and angiotensin-(1-7)(Ang-(1-7)). Ang II acts at either the AT1 or the AT2 receptor to mediate opposing actions of vasoconstriction or vasodilatation respectively. While it is known that oestrogen acts to downregulate ACE and the AT(1) receptor, its regulation of ACE2 and the AT2 receptor and the involvement of a specific oestrogen receptor subtype are unknown. To investigate the role of oestrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) in the regulation by oestrogen of ACE/ACE2 and AT1/AT2 mRNAs in lung and kidney, ovariectomized female mice lacking apolipoprotein E (ee) with the ERalpha (AAee) or without the ERalpha (alphaalphaee) were treated with 17beta-oestradiol (6 microg day(-1)) or placebo for 3 months. ACE, ACE2, AT1 receptor and AT2 receptor mRNAs were measured using reverse transcriptase, real-time polymerase chain reaction. In the kidney, 17beta-oestradiol showed 1.7-fold downregulation of ACE mRNA in AAee mice, with 2.1-fold upregulation of ACE mRNA in alphaalphaee mice. 17beta-Oestradiol showed 1.5- and 1.8-fold downregulation of ACE2 and AT1 receptor mRNA in AAee mice; this regulation was lost in alphaalphaee mice. 17beta-Oestradiol showed marked (81-fold) upregulation of the AT(2) receptor mRNA in AAee mice. In the lung, 17beta-oestradiol treatment had no effect on AT1 receptor mRNA in AAee mice, but resulted in a 1.5-fold decreased regulation of AT1 mRNA in alphaalphaee mice. There was no significant interaction of oestrogen with ERalpha in the lung for ACE, ACE2 and AT2 receptor genes. These studies reveal tissue-specific regulation by 17beta-oestradiol of ACE/ACE2 and AT1/AT2 receptor genes, with the ERalpha receptor being primarily responsible for the regulation of kidney ACE2, AT1 receptor and AT2 receptor genes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                European Respiratory Journal
                Eur Respir J
                European Respiratory Society (ERS)
                0903-1936
                1399-3003
                June 14 2018
                June 2018
                June 21 2018
                June 2018
                : 51
                : 6
                : 1800848
                Article
                10.1183/13993003.00848-2018
                © 2018

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