American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology

Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS): a study of its pathophysiology utilizing the newborn hph-1 mouse model of the disease.

PMID 25359537


Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS) is a common disease of unknown etiology. The tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4)-deficient hyperphenylalaninemia-1 (hph-1) newborn mouse has a similar phenotype to the human condition. For hph-1 and wild-type control animals, pyloric tissue agonist-induced contractile properties, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, cGMP, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) content, and Rho-associated protein kinase 2 (ROCK-2) expression and activity were evaluated. Primary pyloric smooth muscle cells from wild-type newborn animals were utilized to evaluate the effect of BH4 deficiency. One-week-old hph-1 mice exhibited a fourfold increase (P < 0.01) in the pyloric sphincter muscle contraction magnitude but similar relaxation values when compared with wild-type animals. The pyloric tissue nNOS expression and cGMP content were decreased, whereas the rate of nNOS uncoupling increased (P < 0.01) in 1-wk-old hph-1 mice when compared with wild-type animals. These changes were associated with increased pyloric tissue ROS generation and elevated ROCK-2 expression/activity (P < 0.05). At 1-3 days of age and during adulthood, the gastric emptying rate of the hph-1 mice was not altered, and there were no genotype differences in pyloric tissue ROS generation, nNOS expression, or ROCK-2 activity. BH4 inhibition in pyloric smooth muscle cells resulted in increased ROS generation (P < 0.01) and ROCK-2 activity (P < 0.05). Oxidative stress upregulated ROCK-2 activity in pyloric tissue, but no changes were observed in newborn fundal tissue in vitro. We conclude that ROS-induced upregulation of ROCK-2 expression accounts for the increased pyloric sphincter tone and nNOS downregulation in the newborn hph-1 mice. The role of ROCK-2 activation in the pathogenesis of IHPS warrants further study.