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      COPD as an endothelial disorder: endothelial injury linking lesions in the lungs and other organs? (2017 Grover Conference Series)

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          Abstract

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic expiratory airflow obstruction that is not fully reversible. COPD patients develop varying degrees of emphysema, small and large airway disease, and various co-morbidities. It has not been clear whether these co-morbidities share common underlying pathogenic processes with the pulmonary lesions. Early research into the pathogenesis of COPD focused on the contributions of injury to the extracellular matrix and pulmonary epithelial cells. More recently, cigarette smoke-induced endothelial dysfunction/injury have been linked to the pulmonary lesions in COPD (especially emphysema) and systemic co-morbidities including atherosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic renal injury. Herein, we review the evidence linking endothelial injury to COPD, and the pathways underlying endothelial injury and the “vascular COPD phenotype” including: (1) direct toxic effects of cigarette smoke on endothelial cells; (2) generation of auto-antibodies directed against endothelial cells; (3) vascular inflammation; (4) increased oxidative stress levels in vessels inducing increases in lipid peroxidation and increased activation of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE); (5) reduced activation of the anti-oxidant pathways in endothelial cells; (6) increased endothelial cell release of mediators with vasoconstrictor, pro-inflammatory, and remodeling activities (endothelin-1) and reduced endothelial cell expression of mediators that promote vasodilation and homeostasis of endothelial cells (nitric oxide synthase and prostacyclin); and (7) increased endoplasmic reticular stress and the unfolded protein response in endothelial cells. We also review the literature on studies of drugs that inhibit RAGE signaling in other diseases (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers), or vasodilators developed for idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension that have been tested on cell culture systems, animal models of COPD, and/or smokers and COPD patients.

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          Most cited references 163

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          Urinary albumin excretion predicts cardiovascular and noncardiovascular mortality in general population.

          For the general population, the clinical relevance of an increased urinary albumin excretion rate is still debated. Therefore, we examined the relationship between urinary albumin excretion and all-cause mortality and mortality caused by cardiovascular (CV) disease and non-CV disease in the general population. In the period 1997 to 1998, all inhabitants of the city of Groningen, the Netherlands, aged between 28 and 75 years (n=85 421) were sent a postal questionnaire collecting information about risk factors for CV disease and CV morbidity and a vial to collect an early morning urine sample for measurement of urinary albumin concentration (UAC). The vital status of the cohort was subsequently obtained from the municipal register, and the cause of death was obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Of these 85 421 subjects, 40 856 (47.8%) responded, and 40 548 could be included in the analysis. During a median follow-up period of 961 days (maximum 1139 days), 516 deaths with known cause were recorded. We found a positive dose-response relationship between increasing UAC and mortality. A higher UAC increased the risk of both CV and non-CV death after adjustment for other well-recognized CV risk factors, with the increase being significantly higher for CV mortality than for non-CV mortality (P=0.014). A 2-fold increase in UAC was associated with a relative risk of 1.29 for CV mortality (95% CI 1.18 to 1.40) and 1.12 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.21) for non-CV mortality. Urinary albumin excretion is a predictor of all-cause mortality in the general population. The excess risk was more attributable to death from CV causes, independent of the effects of other CV risk factors, and the relationship was already apparent at levels of albuminuria currently considered to be normal.
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            Expression of endothelin-1 in the lungs of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

            Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by an increase in vascular tone or an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells in the walls of small pulmonary arteries. Endothelin-1 is a potent endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide with important mitogenic properties. It has therefore been suggested that endothelin-1 may contribute to increases in pulmonary arterial tone or smooth-muscle proliferation in patients with pulmonary hypertension. We studied the sites and magnitude of endothelin-1 production in the lungs of patients with various causes of pulmonary hypertension. We studied the distribution of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity (by immunocytochemical analysis) and endothelin-1 messenger RNA (by in situ hybridization) in lung specimens from 15 control subjects, 11 patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy (grades 4 through 6), and 17 patients with secondary pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arteriopathy of grades 1 through 3. In the controls, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was rarely seen in vascular endothelial cells. In the patients with pulmonary hypertension, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was abundant, predominantly in endothelial cells of pulmonary arteries with medial thickening and intimal fibrosis. Likewise, endothelin-1 messenger RNA was increased in the patients with pulmonary hypertension and was expressed primarily at sites of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity. There was a strong correlation between the intensity of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity and pulmonary vascular resistance in the patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy, but not in those with secondary pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is associated with the increased expression of endothelin-1 in vascular endothelial cells, suggesting that the local production of endothelin-1 may contribute to the vascular abnormalities associated with this disorder.
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              Inhibition of VEGF receptors causes lung cell apoptosis and emphysema.

              Pulmonary emphysema, a significant global health problem, is characterized by a loss of alveolar structures. Because VEGF is a trophic factor required for the survival of endothelial cells and is abundantly expressed in the lung, we hypothesized that chronic blockade of VEGF receptors could induce alveolar cell apoptosis and emphysema. Chronic treatment of rats with the VEGF receptor blocker SU5416 led to enlargement of the air spaces, indicative of emphysema. The VEGF receptor inhibitor SU5416 induced alveolar septal cell apoptosis but did not inhibit lung cell proliferation. Viewed by angiography, SU5416-treated rat lungs showed a pruning of the pulmonary arterial tree, although we observed no lung infiltration by inflammatory cells or fibrosis. SU5416 treatment led to a decrease in lung expression of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), phosphorylated VEGFR-2, and Akt-1 in the complex with VEGFR-2. Treatment with the caspase inhibitor Z-Asp-CH(2)-DCB prevented SU5416-induced septal cell apoptosis and emphysema development. These findings suggest that VEGF receptor signaling is required for maintenance of the alveolar structures and, further, that alveolar septal cell apoptosis contributes to the pathogenesis of emphysema.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pulm Circ
                Pulm Circ
                PUL
                sppul
                Pulmonary Circulation
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                2045-8932
                2045-8940
                22 February 2018
                January 2018
                : 8
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
                [2 ]Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM, USA
                Author notes
                Caroline A. Owen, 60 Fenwood Road, Building for Transformative Medicine, Room 3016H, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Email: cowen@ 123456bwh.harvard.edu
                Article
                10.1177_2045894018758528
                10.1177/2045894018758528
                5826015
                29468936
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                Categories
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                January-March 2018

                Respiratory medicine

                renal injury, oxidative stress, rage, pulmonary endothelium, apoptosis

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