Pulmonary arterial (PA) stiffness is associated with increased mortality in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH); however, the role of PA stiffening in the pathogenesis of PH remains elusive. Here, we show that distal vascular matrix stiffening is an early mechanobiological regulator of experimental PH. We identify cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) suppression and corresponding reduction in prostaglandin production as pivotal regulators of stiffness-dependent vascular cell activation. Atomic force microscopy microindentation demonstrated early PA stiffening in experimental PH and human lung tissue. Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) grown on substrates with the stiffness of remodeled PAs showed increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis, exaggerated contraction, enhanced matrix deposition, and reduced COX-2–derived prostanoid production compared with cells grown on substrates approximating normal PA stiffness. Treatment with a prostaglandin I2 analog abrogated monocrotaline-induced PA stiffening and attenuated stiffness-dependent increases in proliferation, matrix deposition, and contraction in PASMC. Our results suggest a pivotal role for early PA stiffening in PH and demonstrate the therapeutic potential of interrupting mechanobiological feedback amplification of vascular remodeling in experimental PH.
Fei Liu, Christina Mallarino Haeger, Paul B. Dieffenbach, Delphine Sicard, Izabela Chrobak, Anna Maria F. Coronata, Margarita M. Suárez Velandia, Sally Vitali, Romain A. Colas, Paul C. Norris, Aleksandar Marinković, Xiaoli Liu, Jun Ma, Chase D. Rose, Seon-Jin Lee, Suzy A.A. Comhair, Serpil C. Erzurum, Jacob D. McDonald, Charles N. Serhan, Stephen R. Walsh, Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Laura E. Fredenburgh
In cystic fibrosis (CF), loss of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) anion channel activity causes airway surface liquid (ASL) pH to become acidic, which impairs airway host defenses. One potential therapeutic approach is to correct the acidic pH in CF airways by aerosolizing HCO3– and/or nonbicarbonate pH buffers. Here, we show that raising ASL pH with inhaled HCO3– increased pH. However, the effect was transient, and pH returned to baseline values within 30 minutes. Tromethamine (Tham) is a buffer with a long serum half-life used as an i.v. formulation to treat metabolic acidosis. We found that Tham aerosols increased ASL pH in vivo for at least 2 hours and enhanced bacterial killing. Inhaled hypertonic saline (7% NaCl) is delivered to people with CF in an attempt to promote mucus clearance. Because an increased ionic strength inhibits ASL antimicrobial factors, we added Tham to hypertonic saline and applied it to CF sputum. We found that Tham alone and in combination with hypertonic saline increased pH and enhanced bacterial killing. These findings suggest that aerosolizing the HCO3–-independent buffer Tham, either alone or in combination with hypertonic saline, might be of therapeutic benefit in CF airway disease.
Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa, Janice L. Launspach, Kelsey A. Sheets, Jade A. Rivera, Nicholas D. Gansemer, Peter J. Taft, Peter S. Thorne, Michael J. Welsh, David A. Stoltz, Joseph Zabner
In idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the fibroblast focus is a key histological feature representing active fibroproliferation. On standard 2D pathologic examination, fibroblast foci are considered small, distinct lesions, although they have been proposed to form a highly interconnected reticulum as the leading edge of a “wave” of fibrosis. Here, we characterized fibroblast focus morphology and interrelationships in 3D using an integrated micro-CT and histological methodology. In 3D, fibroblast foci were morphologically complex structures, with large variations in shape and volume (range, 1.3 × 104 to 9.9 × 107 μm3). Within each tissue sample numerous multiform foci were present, ranging from a minimum of 0.9 per mm3 of lung tissue to a maximum of 11.1 per mm3 of lung tissue. Each focus was an independent structure, and no interconnections were observed. Together, our data indicate that in 3D fibroblast foci form a constellation of heterogeneous structures with large variations in shape and volume, suggesting previously unrecognized plasticity. No evidence of interconnectivity was identified, consistent with the concept that foci represent discrete sites of lung injury and repair.
Mark G. Jones, Aurélie Fabre, Philipp Schneider, Francesco Cinetto, Giacomo Sgalla, Mark Mavrogordato, Sanjay Jogai, Aiman Alzetani, Ben G. Marshall, Katherine M.A. O’Reilly, Jane A. Warner, Peter M. Lackie, Donna E. Davies, David M. Hansell, Andrew G. Nicholson, Ian Sinclair, Kevin K. Brown, Luca Richeldi
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease without any cure. Both human disease and animal models demonstrate dysregulated wound healing and unregulated fibrogenesis in a background of low-grade chronic T lymphocyte infiltration. Tissue-resident memory T cells (Trm) are emerging as important regulators of the immune microenvironment in response to pathogens, and we hypothesized that they might play a role in regulating the unremitting inflammation that promotes lung fibrosis. Herein, we demonstrate that lung-directed immunotherapy, in the form of i.n. vaccination, induces an antifibrotic T cell response capable of arresting and reversing lung fibrosis. In mice with established lung fibrosis, lung-specific T cell responses were able to reverse established pathology — as measured by decreased lung collagen, fibrocytes, and histologic injury — and improve physiologic function. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that this effect is mediated by vaccine-induced lung Trm. These data not only have implications for the development of immunotherapeutic regimens to treat IPF, but also suggest a role for targeting tissue-resident memory T cells to treat other tissue-specific inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.
Samuel L. Collins, Yee Chan-Li, MinHee Oh, Christine L. Vigeland, Nathachit Limjunyawong, Wayne Mitzner, Jonathan D. Powell, Maureen R. Horton
Ryan J. Adam, Katherine B. Hisert, Jonathan D. Dodd, Brenda Grogan, Janice L. Launspach, Janel K. Barnes, Charles G. Gallagher, Jered P. Sieren, Thomas J. Gross, Anthony J. Fischer, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, Eric A. Hoffman, Pradeep K. Singh, Michael J. Welsh, Edward F. McKone, David A. Stoltz
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