Lung-specific RNA interference of coupling factor 6, a novel peptide, attenuates pulmonary arterial hypertension in rats

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Abstract

© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive and life-threatening disease associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. However, the exact regulatory mechanism of PAH is unknown. Although coupling factor 6 (CF6) is known to function as a repressor, its role in PAH has not been explored. Here, we investigated the involvement of endogenous CF6 in the development of PAH. Methods: PAH was induced with monocrotaline (MCT), as demonstrated by significant increases in pulmonary artery pressure and vessel wall thickness. The adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying CF6 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) or control vector (2×1010gp) was intratracheally transfected into the lungs of rats 2 weeks before or after MCT injection. Results: A 2-6-fold increase in CF6 was observed in the lungs and circulation of the MCT-injected rats as confirmed by qRT-PCR and ELISA. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed a small quantity of CF6 localized to endothelial cells (ECs) under physiological conditions spread to surrounding tissues in a paracrine manner in PAH lungs. Notably, CF6 shRNA effectively inhibited CF6 expression, abolished lung macrophage infiltration, reversed endothelial dysfunction and vascular remodeling, and ameliorated the severity of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction at 4 weeks both as a pretreatment and rescue intervention. In addition, the circulating and lung levels of 6-keto-PGF1a, a stable metabolite of prostacyclin, were reversed by CF6 inhibition, suggesting that the effect of CF6 inhibition may partly be mediated through prostacyclin. Conclusions: CF6 contributes to the pathogenesis of PAH, probably in association with downregulation of prostacyclin. The blockage of CF6 might be applied as a novel therapeutic approach for PAH and PA remodeling.

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Yin, J., You, S., Li, N., Jiao, S., Hu, H., Xue, M., … Li, X. (2016). Lung-specific RNA interference of coupling factor 6, a novel peptide, attenuates pulmonary arterial hypertension in rats. Respiratory Research, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12931-016-0409-5

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