Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) contributes to morbidity and mortality of patients with lung and heart diseases. We demonstrated that hypoxia induced PAH and increased pulmonary arterial wall thickness in wild-type mice. Mice deficient in tolllike receptor 4 (TLR4-/-) spontaneously developed PAH, which was not further enhanced by hypoxia. Echocardiography determined right ventricular hypertrophy and decreased pulmonary arterial acceleration time were associated with the development of PAH in TLR4-/- mice. In pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC), hypoxia decreased TLR4 expression and induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Nox1/Nox4. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase decreased hypoxia-induced proliferation of wild-type PASMC. PASMC derived from TLR4-/- mice exhibited increased ROS and Nox4/Nox1 expression. Our studies demonstrate an important role of TLR4 in maintaining normal pulmonary vasculature and in hypoxia-induced PAH. Inhibition of TLR4, by genetic ablation or hypoxia, increases the expression of Nox1/Nox4 and induces PASMC proliferation and vascular remodeling. These results support a novel function of TLR4 in regulating the development of PAH and reveal a new regulatory axis contributing to TLR4 deficiency-induced vascular hypertrophy and remodeling.
- Oxidative stress signals
- Pulmonary smooth muscle cells
- Toll-like receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)