MnTBAP reverses pulmonary vascular remodeling and improves cardiac function in experimentally induced pulmonary arterial hypertension

Maria Catalina Gomez-Puerto, Xiao Qing Sun, Ingrid Schalij, Mar Orriols, Xiaoke Pan, Robert Szulcek, Marie José Goumans, Harm Jan Bogaard, Qian Zhou, Peter Ten Dijke

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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening disease characterized by obstructed pulmonary vasculatures. Current therapies for PAH are limited and only alleviate symptoms. Reduced levels of BMPR2 are associated with PAH pathophysiology. Moreover, reactive oxygen species, inflammation and autophagy have been shown to be hallmarks in PAH. We previously demonstrated that MnTBAP, a synthetic metalloporphyrin with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, inhibits the turn-over of BMPR2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that MnTBAP might be used to treat PAH. Human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs), as well as pulmonary microvascular endothelial (MVECs) and smooth muscle cells (MVSMCs) from PAH patients, were treated with MnTBAP. In vivo, either saline or MnTBAP was given to PAH rats induced by Sugen 5416 and hypoxia (SuHx). On PAECs, MnTBAP was found to increase BMPR2 protein levels by blocking autophagy. Moreover, MnTBAP increased BMPR2 levels in pulmonary MVECs and MVSMCs isolated from PAH patients. In SuHx rats, MnTBAP reduced right ventricular (RV) afterload by reversing pulmonary vascular remodeling, including both intima and media layers. Furthermore, MnTBAP improved RV function and reversed RV dilation in SuHx rats. Taken together, these data highlight the importance of MnTBAP as a potential therapeutic treatment for PAH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4130
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Autophagy
  • BMPR2
  • Human pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs)
  • Inflammation
  • MnTBAP
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)

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