Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease associated with vasoconstriction and remodeling. Intracellular Ca2+ signaling regulates the contraction of pulmonary arteries and the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs); however, it is not clear which molecules related to Ca2+ signaling contribute to the progression of PAH. In this study, we found the specific expression of type 2 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R2), which is an intracellular Ca2+ release channel, on the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum in mouse PASMCs, and demonstrated its inhibitory role in the progression of PAH using a chronic hypoxia-induced PAH mouse model. After chronic hypoxia exposure, IP3R2−/− mice exhibited the significant aggravation of PAH, as determined by echocardiography and right ventricular hypertrophy, with significantly greater medial wall thickness by immunohistochemistry than that of wild-type mice. In IP3R2−/− murine PASMCs with chronic hypoxia, a TUNEL assay revealed the significant suppression of apoptosis, whereas there was no significant change in proliferation. Thapsigargin-induced store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) was significantly enhanced in IP3R2−/− PASMCs in both normoxia and hypoxia based on in vitro fluorescent Ca2+ imaging. Furthermore, the enhancement of SOCE in IP3R2−/− PASMCs was remarkably suppressed by the addition of DPB162-AE, an inhibitor of the stromal-interacting molecule (STIM)–Orai complex which is about 100 times more potent than 2-APB. Our results indicate that IP3R2 may inhibit the progression of PAH by promoting apoptosis and inhibiting SOCE via the STIM–Orai pathway in PASMCs. These findings suggest a previously undetermined role of IP3R in the development of PAH and may contribute to the development of targeted therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine