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Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)

Wnt5a attenuates hypoxia-induced pulmonary arteriolar remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy in mice.


PMID 25956683

Abstract

Hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH), which is characterized by pulmonary arteriolar remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy, is still a life-threatening disease with the current treatment strategies. The underlying molecular mechanisms of HPH remain unclear. Our previously published study showed that Wnt5a, one of the ligands in the Wnt family, was critically involved in the inhibition of hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation by downregulation of β-catenin/cyclin D1 inxa0vitro. In this study, we investigated the possible functions and mechanisms of Wnt5a in HPH inxa0vivo. Recombinant mouse Wnt5a (rmWnt5a) or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was administered to male C57/BL6 mice weekly from the first day to the end of the two or four weeks after exposed to hypoxia (10% O2). Hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension was associated with a marked increase in β-catenin/cyclin D1 expression in lungs. Right ventricular systolic pressure and right ventricular hypertrophy index were reduced in animals treated with rmWnt5a compared with PBS. Histology showed less pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy in the group treated with rmWnt5a than with PBS. Treatment with rmWnt5a resulted in a concomitant reduction in β-catenin/cyclin D1 levels in lungs. These data demonstrate that Wnt5a exerts its beneficial effects on HPH by regulating pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy in a manner that is associated with reduction in β-catenin/cyclin D1 signaling. A therapy targeting the β-catenin/cyclin D1 signaling pathway might be a potential strategy for HPH treatment.