- Role of the soluble epoxide hydrolase and cytochrome P450-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodelling (2008)
- Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) redistributes pulmonary blood flow from areas of low oxygen partial pressure to areas of normal or relativity high oxygen availability, thus optimising the matching of perfusion to ventilation and preventing arterial hypoxemia. Generalised alveolar hypoxia results in a sustained increase in pulmonary artery pressure which in turn leads to structural changes in the walls of the pulmonary vasculature (pulmonary vascular remodelling). Recent findings have indicated a role for cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenase-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) in hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction. Given that the intracellular concentration of EETs is determined by the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which metabolises EETs to their less active dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), we assessed the influence of the sEH and EETs on pulmonary artery pressure, acute and chronic HPV, and pulmonary vascular remodelling in the mouse lung. In isolated lungs from wild-type mice, acute HPV was significantly increased by sEH inhibition, an effect abolished by pre-treatment with CYP epoxygenase inhibitors and the EET antagonist 14,15-EEZE. The acute hypoxia-induced vasoconstriction and EET production were greater in lungs from sEH-/- mice than from wild-type mice and sEH inhibition had no further effect on HPV in lungs from the former animals, while MSPPOH (CYP epoxygenase inhibitor) and 14,15-EEZE decreased the response. Exogenous application of 11,12-EET increased pulmonary artery pressure in a concentration-dependent manner and enhanced acute HPV in wild-type lungs, while 14,15-EET and 11,12-DHET were without significant effect on pulmonary artery pressure. 5-HT2A receptor antagonism or Rho kinase inhibition shifted the EET concentration-response curve to the right and abrogated the EET- and sEH inhibition-induced potentiation of acute hypoxic vasoconstriction. In lungs from wild-type and sEH-/- mice, hypoxic preconditioning (hypoxic ventilation for 10 minutes) enhanced the 5-HT response. 1-Adamantyl-3-cyclohexylurea (ACU), a sEH inhibitor, further amplified the hypoxia-induced 5-HT-hypersensitivity in wild-type mice. However, after hypoxic preconditioning, the sEH-/- lungs displayed a striking leftward shift in the 5-HT response. 11,12-EET can activate TRPC6 channels in endothelial cells by eliciting its translocation to the plasma membrane, more specifically to membrane domains enriched with the caveolae marker caveolin-1. This effect was also observed in rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells overexpressing the channel. Exposure of the latter cells to acute hypoxia also stimulated the intracellular translocation of TRPC6 to caveolae, an effect that was sensitive to the EET antagonist. The EET-induced translocation of TRPC6 channels was prevented by a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist but not by a Rho kinase inhibitor. Moreover, while acute hypoxia and 11,12-EET increased pulmonary pressure in lungs from TRPC6+/- mice, lungs from TRPC6-/- mice did not respond to either stimuli. These results indicate that the sEH and CYP-derived EETs are involved in acute HPV and that EET-induced pulmonary contraction under normoxic and hypoxic conditions involves a TRPC6 channel, a 5-HT2A receptor-dependent pathway and Rho kinase activation. In the second part of the study the role of the sEH in the development of pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodelling induced in mice by exposure to hypoxia (10% O2) for 21 days was analysed. In wild-type mice, chronic hypoxia decreased the pulmonary expression/activity of the sEH, induced right heart hypertrophy and erythropoiesis, and increased the number of partially and fully muscularised pulmonary resistance arteries (by 3-fold). Moreover, in HEK 293 cells, hypoxia (1% O2 up to 24 h) decreased sEH promoter activity by 50%. In isolated lungs, pre-exposure to chronic hypoxia significantly increased baseline perfusion pressures and potentiated the acute HPV. While an sEH inhibitor, ACU, potentiated acute HPV in lungs from mice maintained in normoxic conditions, it had no effect on HPV in lungs from mice exposed to hypoxia. The EET antagonist, 14,15-EEZE, abolished the sEH inhibitor-dependent increase in acute HPV in normoxic lungs and decreased HPV in chronic hypoxic lungs. Hypoxia-induced right heart hypertrophy and erythropoiesis were more pronounced in sEH-/- than in wild-type mice. Under normoxic and hypoxic conditions the muscularisation of resistance pulmonary arteries was greater in lungs from sEH-/- mice than in lungs from wild-type mice. sEH-/- mice also displayed an enhanced acute HPV, compared to that observed in wild-type mice and chronic exposure to hypoxia did not further potentiate acute HPV. However, in the presence of 14,15-EEZE responses returned to levels observed in normoxic lungs from wild-type animals. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry demonstrated an extensive expression of the sEH in the medial wall of pulmonary arteries from human donor lungs. Whereas sEH expression was not detectable in samples from pulmonary hypertension patients, indicating that the sEH is involved in hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodelling and hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Taken together, the results presented in this thesis indicate that the expression/activity of the sEH is an important determinant of the magnitude of acute and chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction and pulmonary vascular remodelling by inactivating vasoconstrictor CYP-derived EETs. As sEH inhibitors are currently being developed for the treatment of human systemic hypertension, it should be noted that these compounds may even promote the development of pulmonary hypertension.
- 11,12-EET stimulates the association of BK channel α and β(1) subunits in mitochondria to induce pulmonary vasoconstriction (2012)
- In the systemic circulation, 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (11,12-EET) elicits nitric oxide (NO)- and prostacyclin-independent vascular relaxation, partially through the activation of large conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channels. However, in the lung 11,12-EET contributes to hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction. Since pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells also express BK channels, we assessed the consequences of BKβ1 subunit deletion on pulmonary responsiveness to 11,12-EET as well as to acute hypoxia. In buffer-perfused mouse lungs, hypoxia increased pulmonary artery pressure and this was significantly enhanced in the presence of NO synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors. Under these conditions the elevation of tissue EET levels using an inhibitor of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH-I), further increased the hypoxic contraction. Direct administration of 11,12-EET also increased pulmonary artery pressure, and both the sEH-I and 11,12-EET effects were prevented by iberiotoxin and absent in BKβ1−/− mice. In pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells treated with NOS and COX inhibitors and loaded with the potentiometric dye, di-8-ANEPPS, 11,12-EET induced depolarization while the BK channel opener NS1619 elicited hyperpolarization indicating there was no effect of the EET on classical plasma membrane BK channels. In pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells a subpopulation of BK channels is localized in mitochondria. In these cells, 11,12-EET elicited an iberiotoxin-sensitive loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (JC-1 fluorescence) leading to plasma membrane depolarization, an effect not observed in BKβ1−/− cells. Mechanistically, stimulation with 11,12-EET time-dependently induced the association of the BK α and β1 subunits. Our data indicate that in the absence of NO and prostacyclin 11,12-EET contributes to pulmonary vasoconstriction by stimulating the association of the α and β1 subunits of mitochondrial BK channels. The 11,12-EET-induced activation of BK channels results in loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential and depolarization of the pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.