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1.  Pharmacological actions of a novel NO-independent guanylyl cyclase stimulator, BAY 41-8543: in vitro studies 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2002;135(2):333-343.
BAY 41-8543 is a novel, highly specific and so far the most potent NO-independent stimulator of sGC. Here we report the effects of BAY 41-8543 on the isolated enzyme, endothelial cells, platelets, isolated vessels and Langendorff heart preparation.BAY 41-8543 stimulates the recombinant sGC concentration-dependently from 0.0001 μM to 100 μM up to 92-fold. In combination, BAY 41-8543 and NO have synergistic effects over a wide range of concentrations. Similar results are shown in implying that BAY 41-8543 stimulates the sGC directly and furthermore makes the enzyme more sensitive to its endogenous activator NO.In vitro, BAY 41-8543 is a potent relaxing agent of aortas, saphenous arteries, coronary arteries and veins with IC50-values in the nM range.In the rat heart Langendorff preparation, BAY 41-8543 potently reduces coronary perfusion pressure from 10−9 to 10−6 g ml−1 without any effect on left ventricular pressure and heart rate.BAY 41-8543 is effective even under nitrate tolerance conditions proved by the same vasorelaxing effect on aortic rings taken either from normal or nitrate-tolerant rats.BAY 41-8543 is a potent inhibitor of collagen-mediated aggregation in washed human platelets (IC50=0.09 μM). In plasma, BAY 41-8543 inhibits collagen-mediated aggregation better than ADP-induced aggregation, but has no effect on the thrombin pathway. BAY 41-8543 is also a potent direct stimulator of the cyclic GMP/PKG/VASP pathway in platelets and synergizes with NO over a wide range of concentrations.These results suggest that BAY 41-8543 is on the one hand an invaluable tool for studying sGC signaling in vitro and on the other hand its unique profile may offer a novel approach for treating cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC1573147  PMID: 11815368
Nitric oxide; soluble guanylyl cyclase; cyclic GMP; BAY 41-8543; ODQ; YC-1; VASP; endothelial cells; platelets; vasorelaxation
2.  Inhaled Agonists of Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Induce Selective Pulmonary Vasodilation 
Rationale: Nitric oxide–independent agonists of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) have been developed.
Objectives: We tested whether inhalation of novel dry-powder microparticle formulations containing sGC stimulators (BAY 41-2272, BAY 41-8543) or an sGC activator (BAY 58-2667) would produce selective pulmonary vasodilation in lambs with acute pulmonary hypertension. We also evaluated the combined administration of BAY 41-8543 microparticles and inhaled nitric oxide (iNO). Finally, we examined whether inhaling BAY 58-2667 microparticles would produce pulmonary vasodilation when the response to iNO is impaired.
Methods: In awake, spontaneously breathing lambs instrumented with vascular catheters and a tracheostomy tube, U-46619 was infused intravenously to increase mean pulmonary arterial pressure to 35 mm Hg.
Measurements and Main Results: Inhalation of microparticles composed of either BAY 41-2272, BAY 41-8543, or BAY 58-2667 and excipients (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, albumin, lactose) produced dose-dependent pulmonary vasodilation and increased transpulmonary cGMP release without significant effect on mean arterial pressure. Inhalation of microparticles containing BAY 41-8543 or BAY 58-2667 increased systemic arterial oxygenation. The magnitude and duration of pulmonary vasodilation induced by iNO were augmented after inhaling BAY 41-8543 microparticles. Intravenous administration of 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), which oxidizes the prosthetic heme group of sGC, markedly reduced the pulmonary vasodilator effect of iNO. In contrast, pulmonary vasodilation and transpulmonary cGMP release induced by inhaling BAY 58-2667 microparticles were greatly enhanced after treatment with ODQ.
Conclusions: Inhalation of microparticles containing agonists of sGC may provide an effective novel treatment for patients with pulmonary hypertension, particularly when responsiveness to iNO is impaired by oxidation of sGC.
PMCID: PMC2176100  PMID: 17872487
pulmonary hypertension; soluble guanylate cyclase; BAY 41-2272; BAY 41-8543; BAY 58-2667
3.  Cardiovascular actions of a novel NO-independent guanylyl cyclase stimulator, BAY 41-8543: in vivo studies 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2002;135(2):344-355.
BAY 41-8543 is a novel non-NO-based stimulator of sGC. This study investigates the acute effects of BAY 41-8543 on haemodynamics in anaesthetized rats and dogs, its long-term effects in conscious hypertension rat models and its antiplatelet effects.In anaesthetized dogs, intravenous injections of BAY 41-8543 (3–100 μg kg−1) caused a dose-dependent decrease in blood pressure and cardiac oxygen consumption as well as an increase in coronary blood flow and heart rate.In anaesthetized normotensive rats, BAY 41-8543 produced a dose-dependent and long-lasting blood pressure lowering effect after intravenous (3–300 μg kg−1) and oral (0.1–1 mg kg−1) administration. A dose-dependent and long-lasting decrease in blood pressure was also observed in conscious spontaneously hypertensive rats with a threshold dose of 0.1 mg kg−1 p.o. After 3 mg kg−1 the antihypertensive effect lasted for nearly 24 h. After multiple dosages, BAY 41-8543 did not develop tachyphylaxis in SHR.BAY 41-8543 prolonged the rat tail bleeding time and reduced thrombosis in the FeCl3 thrombosis model after oral administration.In a low NO, high renin rat model of hypertension, BAY 41-8543 prevented the increase in blood pressure evoked by L-NAME and reveals a kidney protective effect. In this model, the overall beneficial effects of BAY 41-8543 manifested as both antiplatelet effect and vasodilatation were reflected in a significant reduction in mortality.The pharmacological profile of BAY 41-8543 suggests therefore that this compound has the potential to be an important research tool for in vivo investigations in the sGC/cGMP field and it also has the potential of being a unique clinical utility for treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC1573146  PMID: 11815369
Nitric oxide; soluble guanylyl cyclase; cyclic GMP; BAY 41-8543; YC-1; VASP; L-NAME; blood pressure; rats; dogs
4.  Stimulation of soluble guanylyl cyclase protects against obesity by recruiting brown adipose tissue 
Nature Communications  2015;6:7235.
Obesity is characterized by a positive energy balance and expansion of white adipose tissue (WAT). In contrast, brown adipose tissue (BAT) combusts energy to produce heat. Here we show that a small molecule stimulator (BAY 41-8543) of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), which produces the second messenger cyclic GMP (cGMP), protects against diet-induced weight gain, induces weight loss in established obesity, and also improves the diabetic phenotype. Mechanistically, the haeme-dependent sGC stimulator BAY 41–8543 enhances lipid uptake into BAT and increases whole-body energy expenditure, whereas ablation of the haeme-containing β1-subunit of sGC severely impairs BAT function. Notably, the sGC stimulator enhances differentiation of human brown adipocytes as well as induces ‘browning' of primary white adipocytes. Taken together, our data suggest that sGC is a potential pharmacological target for the treatment of obesity and its comorbidities.
The enzyme soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) regulates differentiation of brown fat. Here, Hoffman et al. show that a small molecule sGC stimulator increases brown fat activity and browning of white fat, thereby inducing energy expenditure, weight loss and partial protection from diet-induced obesity in mice.
PMCID: PMC4455111  PMID: 26011238
The journal of sexual medicine  2012;10(3):704-718.
Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is the receptor for nitric oxide (NO) and in pathophysiologic conditions where NO formation or bioavailability is impaired, erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs.
The aim of this study was to investigate erectile responses to the sGC stimulator BAY 41-8543 in physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions.
Increases in intracavernosal pressure (ICP) in response to intracavernosal (ic) injections of BAY 41-8543 were investigated in the anesthetized rat.
Main Outcome Measures
Increases in ICP/MAP in response to ic injections of BAY 41-8543 and the interaction of BAY 41-8543 with exogenous and endogenously released NO were investigated and the effect of the sGC stimulator on cavernosal nerve injury was assessed. The mechanism of the increase in ICP/MAP in response to ic injection of acetylcholine was investigated.
The ic injections of BAY 41-8543 increased ICP/MAP and the duration of the response. BAY 41-8543 was less potent than SNP and ic injections of BAY 41-8543 and SNP produced a larger response than the algebraic sum of responses to either agent alone. Simultaneous ic injection of BAY 41-8543 and cavernosal nerve stimulation produced a greater response than either intervention alone. Atropine and cavernosal nerve crush injury decreased the response to nerve stimulation and ic injection of BAY 41-8543 restored the response.
These data show that BAY 41-8543 has significant erectile activity and can synergize with exogenous and endogenously released NO. This study shows that atropine and nerve crush attenuate the response to cavernosal nerve stimulation and that BAY 41-8543 can restore the response. The results with atropine, L-NAME and hexamethonium indicate that the response to ic injection of acetylcholine is mediated by muscarinic receptors and the release of NO with no significant role for nicotinic receptors. These results suggest that BAY 41-8543 would be useful in the treatment of ED.
PMCID: PMC3594361  PMID: 22989320
6.  Effect of Chronic Sodium Nitrite Therapy on Monocrotaline-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension 
Nitric Oxide  2012;27(1):1-8.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare disorder that without treatment is progressive and often fatal within 3 years. The treatment of PH involves the use of a diverse group of drugs and lung transplantation. Although nitrite was once thought to be an inactive metabolite of endothelial-derived nitric oxide (NO), there is increasing evidence that nitrite may be useful in the treatment of PH, but the mechanism by which nitrite exerts its beneficial effect remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of chronic sodium nitrite treatment in a PH model in the rat. Following induction of PH with a single injection of monocrotaline, 60 mg; daily ip injections of sodium nitrite (3 mg/kg) starting on day 14 and continuing for 21 days, resulted in a significantly lower pulmonary arterial pressure on day 35 when compared to values in untreated animals with monocrotaline-induced PH. In monocrotaline-treated rats, daily treatment with ip nitrite injections for 21 days decreased right ventricular mass and pathologic changes in small pulmonary arteries. Nitrite therapy did not change systemic arterial pressure or cardiac output when values were measured on day 35. The decreases in pulmonary arterial pressure in response to iv injections of sodium nitroprusside, sodium nitrite, and BAY 41-8543 were not different in rats with monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension and rats with chronic nitrite therapy when compared to responses in animals in which pulmonary arterial pressure was increased with U46619. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms that convert nitrite to vasoactive NO, activate soluble guanylyl cyclase and mediate the vasodilator response to NO or an NO derivative are not impaired. The present data are consistent with the results of a previous study in monocrotaline-induced PH in which systemic arterial pressure and cardiac output were not evaluated and are consistent with the hypothesis that nitrite is effective in the treatment of monocrotaline-induced PH in the rodent.
PMCID: PMC3366021  PMID: 22426035
pulmonary vascular bed; systemic vascular bed; pulmonary hypertension/therapy; right ventricular hypertrophy; sodium nitrite; nitric oxide; soluble guanylyl cyclase; monocrotaline
7.  Effects of Different Pulmonary Vasodilators on Arterial Saturation in a Model of Pulmonary Hypertension 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73502.
Approved therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension can induce oxygen desaturation when administered to patients with secondary forms of pulmonary hypertension (PH), probably due to an increase in ventilation/perfusion mismatch. Thus, so far these treatments have largely failed in secondary forms of PH.
We established an animal model of heterogeneous lung ventilation to evaluate the desaturation potential of mechanistically distinct vasoactive drugs launched or currently in clinical development for the treatment of PH. Single-lung ventilation was induced in five groups (N = 6) of anesthetized minipigs (7 weeks, 4 to 5 kg BW), and their hemodynamic parameters were monitored before and after intravenous injection of control (vehicle only), endothelin antagonist (bosentan; 0.3, 1, 3, 10 mg/kg), phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (sildenafil; 3, 10, 30, 100 µg/kg), and soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators (BAY 41–8543 and riociguat; 1, 3, 10, 30 µg/kg). Cumulative doses were administered before successive unilateral ventilation cycles. The doses were chosen to achieve equal effect on blood pressure by the different pharmacologic principles.
Single-lung ventilation resulted in transient increases in mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) and desaturation. In contrast to control, all drugs dose-dependently decreased hypoxic mPAP (a positive treatment effect) and increased area under the arterial hemoglobin saturation curve (unwanted desaturation effect). Riociguat and bosentan reduced hypoxic mPAP to the greatest extent, while the soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators riociguat and BAY 41–8543 lowered arterial oxygen saturation of hemoglobin the least.
Future investigations will be required to confirm these findings in clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC3756006  PMID: 24015306
8.  5-HT2B Receptor Antagonists Inhibit Fibrosis and Protect from RV Heart Failure 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:438403.
Objective. The serotonin (5-HT) pathway was shown to play a role in pulmonary hypertension (PH), but its functions in right ventricular failure (RVF) remain poorly understood. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of Terguride (5-HT2A and 2B receptor antagonist) or SB204741 (5-HT2B receptor antagonist) on right heart function and structure upon pulmonary artery banding (PAB) in mice. Methods. Seven days after PAB, mice were treated for 14 days with Terguride (0.2 mg/kg bid) or SB204741 (5 mg/kg day). Right heart function and remodeling were assessed by right heart catheterization, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and histomorphometric methods. Total secreted collagen content was determined in mouse cardiac fibroblasts isolated from RV tissues. Results. Chronic treatment with Terguride or SB204741 reduced right ventricular fibrosis and showed improved heart function in mice after PAB. Moreover, 5-HT2B receptor antagonists diminished TGF-beta1 induced collagen synthesis of RV cardiac fibroblasts in vitro. Conclusion. 5-HT2B receptor antagonists reduce collagen deposition, thereby inhibiting right ventricular fibrosis. Chronic treatment prevented the development and progression of pressure overload-induced RVF in mice. Thus, 5-HT2B receptor antagonists represent a valuable novel therapeutic approach for RVF.
PMCID: PMC4312574  PMID: 25667920
9.  Human umbilical cord blood-derived mononuclear cells improve murine ventricular function upon intramyocardial delivery in right ventricular chronic pressure overload 
Stem cell therapy has emerged as potential therapeutic strategy for damaged heart muscles. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) cells are the most prevalent stem cell source available, yet have not been fully tested in cardiac regeneration. Herein, studies were performed to evaluate the cardiovascular safety and beneficial effect of mononuclear cells (MNCs) isolated from human umbilical cord blood upon intramyocardial delivery in a murine model of right ventricle (RV) heart failure due to pressure overload.
UCB-derived MNCs were delivered into the myocardium of a diseased RV cardiac model. Pulmonary artery banding (PAB) was used to produce pressure overload in athymic nude mice that were then injected intramyocardially with UCB-MNCs (0.4 × 10^6 cells/heart). Cardiac functions were then monitored by telemetry, echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathologic analysis of heart samples to determine the ability for cell-based repair.
The cardio-toxicity studies provided evidence that UCB cell transplantation has a safe therapeutic window between 0.4 to 0.8 million cells/heart without altering QT or ST-segments or the morphology of electrocardiograph waves. The PAB cohort demonstrated significant changes in RV chamber dilation and functional defects consistent with severe pressure overload. Using cardiac MRI analysis, UCB-MNC transplantation in the setting of PAB demonstrated an improvement in RV structure and function in this surgical mouse model. The RV volume load in PAB-only mice was 24.09 ± 3.9 compared to 11.05 ± 2.09 in the cell group (mm3, P-value <0.005). The analysis of pathogenic gene expression (BNP, ANP, Acta1, Myh7) in the cell-transplanted group showed a significant reversal with respect to the diseased PAB mice with a robust increase in cardiac progenitor gene expression such as GATA4, Kdr, Mef2c and Nkx2.5. Histological analysis indicated significant fibrosis in the RV in response to PAB that was reduced following UCB-MNC’s transplantation along with concomitant increased Ki-67 expression and CD31 positive vessels as a marker of angiogenesis within the myocardium.
These findings indicate that human UCB-derived MNCs promote an adaptive regenerative response in the right ventricle upon intramyocardial transplantation in the setting of chronic pressure overload heart failure.
PMCID: PMC4416353  PMID: 25890300
10.  ACE2 Improves Right Ventricular Function in a Pressure Overload Model 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20828.
Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is a complication of pulmonary hypertension and portends a poor prognosis. Pharmacological therapies targeting RV function in pulmonary hypertension may reduce symptoms, improve hemodynamics, and potentially increase survival. We hypothesize that recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) will improve RV function in a pressure overload model.
rhACE2 administered at 1.8 mg/kg/day improved RV systolic and diastolic function in pulmonary artery banded mice as measured by in vivo hemodynamics. Specifically, rhACE2 increased RV ejection fraction and decreased RV end diastolic pressure and diastolic time constant (p<0.05). In addition, rhACE2 decreased RV hypertrophy as measured by RV/LV+S ratio (p<0.05). There were no significant negative effects of rhACE2 administration on LV function. rhACE2 had no significant effect on fibrosis as measured by trichrome staining and collagen1α1 expression. In pulmonary artery banded mice, rhACE2 increased Mas receptor expression and normalized connexin 37 expression.
In a mouse RV load-stress model of early heart failure, rhACE2 diminished RV hypertrophy and improved RV systolic and diastolic function in association with a marker of intercellular communication. rhACE2 may be a novel treatment for RV failure.
PMCID: PMC3112229  PMID: 21695173
11.  NO-independent activation of soluble guanylate cyclase prevents disease progression in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2006;148(6):853-859.
Chronic renal disease is associated with oxidative stress, reduced nitric oxide (NO) availability and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) dysfunction. Recently, we discovered BAY 58-2667, a compound activating heme-deficient or oxidized sGC in a NO-independent manner.We assessed potential of BAY 58-2667 in preventing cardiac and renal target organ damage in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy.Male Wistar rats were allocated to three groups: 5/6 nephrectomy, 5/6 nephrectomy treated with BAY 58-2667 and sham operation. Study period was 18 weeks: blood pressure and creatinine clearance were assessed repeatedly. At study end blood samples were taken and hearts and kidneys harvested for histological studies.BAY 58-2667 markedly lowered blood pressure in animals with 5/6 nephrectomy (untreated versus treated animals: 189±14 versus 146±11 mmHg, P<0.001). Left ventricular weight, cardiac myocyte diameter as well as cardiac arterial wall thickness significantly decreased in comparison to untreated animals with 5/6 nephrectomy. Natriuretic peptide plasma levels were also improved by BAY 58-2667. Kidney function and morphology as assessed by creatinine clearance, glomerulosclerosis, interstitial and perivascular fibrosis of intrarenal arteries were likewise significantly improved by BAY 58-2667.This is the first study showing that BAY 58-2667 effectively lowers blood pressure, reduces left ventricular hypertrophy and slows renal disease progression in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy by targeting mainly oxidized sGC. Therefore, BAY 58-2667 represents a novel pharmacological principle with potential clinical value in treatment of chronic renal disease.
PMCID: PMC1617071  PMID: 16770325
Soluble guanylate cyclase; heme; BAY 58-2667; cyclic GMP; 5/6 nephrectomy; hypertension; chronic renal failure; left ventricular hypertrophy; rat
12.  Maintaining tricuspid valve competence in double discordance: a challenge for the paediatric cardiologist 
Heart  1998;80(5):479-483.
Objectives—To establish the prevalence of tricuspid valve abnormalities in children with a double discordant heart (or congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries); to study the influence of the loading conditions induced by various surgical interventions on the right and left ventricle in patients with double discordance and an abnormal tricuspid valve; and to propose a rational surgical approach.
Methods—Case notes were reviewed of 141 consecutive patients admitted in the first year of life with various types of double discordance (intact ventricular septum (group 1), ventricular septal defect (group 2), ventricular septal defect and pulmonary obstruction (group 3)). A study group of 62 patients with an abnormal tricuspid valve was selected by cross sectional echocardiography. These were followed up through palliative and open heart procedures with grading of tricuspid regurgitation.
Results—Tricuspid valve abnormalities were more common in groups 1 and 2 (60% and 56%) than in group 3 (31%). Preoperative tricuspid regurgitation was more common in group 2 (90%) than in groups 1 and 3 (38% and 36%). Ten patients in groups 1 and 2 died in the neonatal period with severe tricuspid regurgitation, associated with coarctation of the aorta in 60%. Eight patients in group 1 had no surgery and are doing well, with a competent tricuspid valve. Palliative procedures were undertaken in 28 patients: 14 had pulmonary artery banding, which resulted in a decrease in tricuspid regurgitation, 12 in group 2 by reducing the pulmonary blood flow and two in group 1 by changing the septal geometry; 14 in group 3 had an aortopulmonary shunt, which induced tricuspid regurgitation in two. Twenty patients are still alive after palliation, with stable tricuspid valve function. Repair of the tricuspid valve was unsuccessful in the three patients who underwent conventional surgery, leaving the right ventricle facing the systemic circulation. In two patients with a competent but abnormal tricuspid valve, conventional surgery induced severe tricuspid regurgitation. Of the 15 patients who underwent conventional surgery, only 10 survived (mortality 33%): eight with a tricuspid valve prosthesis and two with severe residual tricuspid regurgitation. However, tricuspid regurgitation decreased after anatomical correction (nine patients), restoring a systemic left ventricle and a subpulmonary right ventricle, even when the tricuspid valve was not repaired (five patients). Eight patients are doing well after anatomical correction (mortality 11%).
Conclusions—Tricuspid valve function in double discordance with an abnormal tricuspid valve depends on the loading conditions of both ventricles and on the septal geometry. Interventions that increase right ventricular volume or decrease left ventricular pressure are likely to induce tricuspid regurgitation, while those that decrease right ventricular volume or increase left ventricular pressure are likely to improve tricuspid valve function. Repair of the tricuspid valve always failed when the right ventricle was left in a systemic position and always succeeded when the right ventricle was placed in a subpulmonary position. These results should be taken in to account when dealing with patients with double discordance and an abnormal tricuspid valve.

 Keywords: transposition of the great arteries;  double discordance;  double switch procedures;  tricuspid valve;  paediatric cardiology;  congenitally corrected transposition
PMCID: PMC1728855  PMID: 9930048
13.  Deletion of Fn14 receptor protects from right heart fibrosis and dysfunction 
Basic Research in Cardiology  2013;108(2):325.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a fatal disease for which no cure is yet available. The leading cause of death in PAH is right ventricular (RV) failure. Previously, the TNF receptor superfamily member fibroblast growth factor-inducible molecule 14 (Fn14) has been associated with different fibrotic diseases. However, so far there is no study demonstrating a causal role for endogenous Fn14 signaling in RV or LV heart disease. The purpose of this study was to determine whether global ablation of Fn14 prevents RV fibrosis and remodeling improving heart function. Here, we provide evidence for a causative role of Fn14 in pulmonary artery banding (PAB)-induced RV fibrosis and dysfunction in mice. Fn14 expression was increased in the RV after PAB. Mice lacking Fn14 (Fn14−/−) displayed substantially reduced RV fibrosis and dysfunction following PAB compared to wild-type littermates. Cell culture experiments demonstrated that activation of Fn14 induces collagen expression via RhoA-dependent nuclear translocation of myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A)/MAL. Furthermore, activation of Fn14 in vitro caused fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation, which corresponds to suppression of PAB-induced RV fibrosis in Fn14−/− mice. Moreover, our findings suggest that Fn14 expression is regulated by endothelin-1 (ET-1) in cardiac fibroblasts. We conclude that Fn14 is an endogenous key regulator in cardiac fibrosis and suggest this receptor as potential new target for therapeutic interventions in heart failure.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00395-012-0325-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3597271  PMID: 23325387
Right heart disease; Fibrosis; Fn14; MAL; Cardiac fibroblasts
14.  Pulmonary Hypertension in Wild Type Mice and Animals with Genetic Deficit in KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 Channels 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97687.
In vascular biology, endothelial KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channels contribute to arterial blood pressure regulation by producing membrane hyperpolarization and smooth muscle relaxation. The role of KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channels in the pulmonary circulation is not fully established. Using mice with genetically encoded deficit of KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channels, this study investigated the effect of loss of the channels in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
Approach and Result
Male wild type and KCa3.1−/−/KCa2.3T/T(+DOX) mice were exposed to chronic hypoxia for four weeks to induce pulmonary hypertension. The degree of pulmonary hypertension was evaluated by right ventricular pressure and assessment of right ventricular hypertrophy. Segments of pulmonary arteries were mounted in a wire myograph for functional studies and morphometric studies were performed on lung sections. Chronic hypoxia induced pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular hypertrophy, increased lung weight, and increased hematocrit levels in either genotype. The KCa3.1−/−/KCa2.3T/T(+DOX) mice developed structural alterations in the heart with increased right ventricular wall thickness as well as in pulmonary vessels with increased lumen size in partially- and fully-muscularized vessels and decreased wall area, not seen in wild type mice. Exposure to chronic hypoxia up-regulated the gene expression of the KCa2.3 channel by twofold in wild type mice and increased by 2.5-fold the relaxation evoked by the KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channel activator NS309, whereas the acetylcholine-induced relaxation - sensitive to the combination of KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channel blockers, apamin and charybdotoxin - was reduced by 2.5-fold in chronic hypoxic mice of either genotype.
Despite the deficits of the KCa2.3 and KCa3.1 channels failed to change hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, the up-regulation of KCa2.3-gene expression and increased NS309-induced relaxation in wild-type mice point to a novel mechanism to counteract pulmonary hypertension and to a potential therapeutic utility of KCa2.3/KCa3.1 activators for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4032241  PMID: 24858807
15.  Testosterone negatively regulates right ventricular load stress responses in mice 
Pulmonary Circulation  2012;2(3):352-358.
Right ventricular (RV) function is the major determinant of mortality in pulmonary arterial hypertension and male sex is a strong predictor of mortality in this disease. The effects of testosterone on RV structure and function in load stress are presently unknown. We tested whether testosterone levels affect RV hypertrophic responses, fibrosis, and function. Male C57BL/6 mice underwent castration or sham followed by pulmonary artery banding (PAB) or sham. After recovery, testosterone pellets were placed in a subset of the castrated mice and mice were maintained for at least two weeks, when they underwent hemodynamic measurements and tissues were harvested. Plasma levels of testosterone were reduced by castration and repleted by testosterone administration. In PAB, castration resulted in lower right ventricle/left ventricle + septum (RV/LV+S), and myocyte diameter (P < 0.05). Replacement of testosterone normalized these parameters and increased RV fibrosis (P < 0.05). Two weeks of PAB resulted in increased RV systolic pressure in all groups with decreased markers of RV systolic and diastolic function, specifically reduced ejection fraction and increased time constant, and dPdt minimum (P < 0.05), though there was minimal effect of testosterone on hemodynamic parameters. Survival was improved in mice that underwent castration with PAB compared with PAB alone (P < 0.05). Testosterone affects RV hypertrophic response to load stress through increased myocyte size and increased fibrosis in mice. Castration and testosterone replacement are not accompanied by significant alterations in RV in vivo hemodynamics, but testosterone deprivation appears to improve survival in PAB. Further study of the role of testosterone in RV dysfunction is warranted to better understand these findings in the context of human disease.
PMCID: PMC3487303  PMID: 23130103
pulmonary hypertension; right ventricle; sex hormones; testosterone
16.  Dual Endothelin Receptor Blockade Abrogates Right Ventricular Remodeling and Biventricular Fibrosis in Isolated Elevated Right Ventricular Afterload 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0146767.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is usually fatal due to right ventricular failure and is frequently associated with co-existing left ventricular dysfunction. Endothelin-1 is a powerful pro-fibrotic mediator and vasoconstrictor that is elevated in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Endothelin receptor blockers are commonly used as pulmonary vasodilators, however their effect on biventricular injury, remodeling and function, despite elevated isolated right ventricular afterload is unknown.
Elevated right ventricular afterload was induced by progressive pulmonary artery banding. Seven rabbits underwent pulmonary artery banding without macitentan; 13 received pulmonary artery banding + macitentan; and 5 did not undergo inflation of the pulmonary artery band (sham-operated controls). Results: Right and left ventricular collagen content was increased with pulmonary artery banding compared to sham-operated controls and ameliorated by macitentan. Right ventricular fibrosis signaling (connective tissue growth factor and endothelin-1 protein levels); extra-cellular matrix remodeling (matrix-metalloproteinases 2 and 9), apoptosis and apoptosis-related peptides (caspases 3 and 8) were increased with pulmonary artery banding compared with sham-operated controls and decreased with macitentan.
Isolated right ventricular afterload causes biventricular fibrosis, right ventricular apoptosis and extra cellular matrix remodeling, mediated by up-regulation of endothelin-1 and connective tissue growth factor signaling. These pathological changes are ameliorated by dual endothelin receptor blockade despite persistent elevated right ventricular afterload.
PMCID: PMC4713098  PMID: 26765263
17.  “Nihilism” of chronic heart failure therapy in children and why effective therapy is withheld 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2016;175:445-455.
Major advances in chronic heart failure (cHF) therapy have been achieved and documented in adult patients, while research regarding the mechanisms and therapy of cHF in children has lagged behind. Based on receptor physiological studies and pharmacological knowledge, treatment with specific ß1-adrenergic receptor blocker (ARB), tissue angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I), and mineralocorticoid antagonists have to be recommended in children despite lack of sufficient data derived from prospective randomized studies. At our institution, bisoprolol, lisinopril, and spironolactone have been firmly established to treat systolic cHF, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) following hybrid approach and congenital left-right shunt diseases, latest in patients where surgery has to be delayed. Chronic therapy with long-acting diuretics and fluid restriction are not advocated because short-term effects are achieved at the expense of further neuro-humoral stimulation. It remains unclear why diuretics are recommended although evidence-based studies, documenting long-term benefit, are missing. However, that is true for all currently used drugs for pediatric cHF.
Conclusion: This review focuses on the prevailing “nihilism” of cHF therapy in children with the goal to encourage physicians to treat pediatric cHF with a rationally designed therapy, which combines available agents that have been shown to improve survival in adult patients with cHF. Because of the lack of clinical trials, which generate the needed evidence, surrogate variables like heart and respiratory rate, weight gain, image-derived data, and biomarkers should be monitored and used instead. The recommended pharmacological therapy for systolic heart failure is also provided as the basis for utilizing reversible pulmonary arterial banding (PAB) as a novel strategy in young children with dilative cardiomyopathy (DCM) with preserved right ventricular function. What is Known: • Heart failure (HF) in children is a serious public health concern. • HF has numerous etiologies, but unspecific symptoms. • HF interplays among neuro-humoral, and molecular abnormalities. • Pediatric cHF-therapy is currently based on loop-diuretics, fluid restriction and digoxin. What is New: • Cardiac function analysis has to include cardiac synchrony and VVI. • Considering enormous potential of cardiac regeneration, therapy has to extend with selective ß1-ARB, tissue ACE-I and mineralocorticoid blockers, loop-diuretics avoided as ever possible. • Inhibition of the endogenous neuro-humoral stimulation is monitored by surrogate parameters as heart and breath rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. • Advocated HF therapy serves for regenerative strategies as reversible Pulmonary Artery Banding in DCM.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00431-016-2700-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4806719  PMID: 26895877
Chronic heart failure; Infants and children; Bisoprolol; Lisinopril; Spironolactone; Pulmonary artery banding
18.  The Reno-Vascular A2B Adenosine Receptor Protects the Kidney from Ischemia 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(6):e137.
Acute renal failure from ischemia significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality in clinical settings, and strategies to improve renal resistance to ischemia are urgently needed. Here, we identified a novel pathway of renal protection from ischemia using ischemic preconditioning (IP).
Methods and Findings
For this purpose, we utilized a recently developed model of renal ischemia and IP via a hanging weight system that allows repeated and atraumatic occlusion of the renal artery in mice, followed by measurements of specific parameters or renal functions. Studies in gene-targeted mice for each individual adenosine receptor (AR) confirmed renal protection by IP in A1−/−, A2A−/−, or A3AR−/− mice. In contrast, protection from ischemia was abolished in A2BAR−/− mice. This protection was associated with corresponding changes in tissue inflammation and nitric oxide production. In accordance, the A2BAR-antagonist PSB1115 blocked renal protection by IP, while treatment with the selective A2BAR-agonist BAY 60–6583 dramatically improved renal function and histology following ischemia alone. Using an A2BAR-reporter model, we found exclusive expression of A2BARs within the reno-vasculature. Studies using A2BAR bone-marrow chimera conferred kidney protection selectively to renal A2BARs.
These results identify the A2BAR as a novel therapeutic target for providing potent protection from renal ischemia.
Using gene-targeted mice, Holger Eltzschig and colleagues identify the A2B adenosine receptor as a novel therapeutic target for providing protection from renal ischemia.
Editors' Summary
Throughout life, the kidneys perform the essential task of filtering waste products and excess water from the blood to make urine. Each kidney contains about a million small structures called nephrons, each of which contains a filtration unit consisting of a glomerulus (a small blood vessel) intertwined with a urine-collecting tube called a tubule. If the nephrons stop working for any reason, the rate at which the blood is filtered (the glomerular filtration rate or GFR) decreases and dangerous amounts of waste products such as creatinine build up in the blood. Most kidney diseases destroy the nephrons slowly over years, producing an irreversible condition called chronic renal failure. But the kidneys can also stop working suddenly because of injury or poisoning. One common cause of “acute” renal failure in hospital patients is ischemia—an inadequate blood supply to an organ that results in the death of part of that organ. Heart surgery and other types of surgery in which the blood supply to the kidneys is temporarily disrupted are associated with high rates of acute renal failure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the kidneys usually recover from acute failure within a few weeks if the appropriate intensive treatment (for example, dialysis) is provided, acute renal failure after surgery can be fatal. Thus, new strategies to protect the kidneys from ischemia are badly needed. Like other organs, the kidneys can be protected from lethal ischemia by pre-exposure to several short, nonlethal episodes of ischemia. It is not clear how this “ischemic preconditioning” increases renal resistance to ischemia but some data suggest that the protection of tissues from ischemia might involve a signaling molecule called extracellular adenosine. This molecule binds to proteins called receptors on the surface of cells and sends signals into them that change their behavior. There are four different adenosine receptor—A1AR, A2AAR, A2BAR, and A3AR—and in this study, the researchers use ischemic preconditioning as an experimental strategy to investigate which of these receptors protects the kidneys from ischemia in mice, information that might provide clues about how to protect the kidneys from ischemia.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first asked whether ischemic preconditioning protects the kidneys of mice strains that lack the genes for individual adenosine receptors (A1AR−/−, A2AAR−/−, A2BAR−/−, and A3AR−/− mice) from subsequent ischemia. Using a hanging-weight system, they intermittently blocked the renal artery of these mice before exposing them to a longer period of renal ischemia. Twenty-four hours later, they assessed the renal function of the mice by measuring their blood creatinine levels, GFRs, and urine production. Ischemic preconditioning protected all the mice from ischemia-induced loss of kidney function except the A2BAR−/− mice. It also prevented ischemia-induced structural damage and inflammation in the kidneys of wild-type but not A2BAR−/− mice. These results suggest that A2BAR may help to protect the kidneys from ischemia. Consistent with this idea, ischemic preconditioning did not prevent ischemia-induced renal damage in wild-type mice treated with a compound that specifically blocks the activity of A2BAR. However, wild-type mice (but not A2BAR−/− mice) treated with an A2BAR agonist (which activates the receptor) retained their kidney function after renal ischemia without ischemic preconditioning. Finally, the researchers report that A2BAR has to be present on the blood vessels in the kidney to prevent ischemia-induced acute renal failure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the protection of the kidneys from ischemia and the renal resistance to ischemia that is provided by ischemic preconditioning involve adenosine signaling through A2BAR. They also suggest that adenosine might provide protection against ischemia-induced damage by blocking inflammation in the kidney although other possible mechanisms of action need to be investigated. Importantly, these findings suggest that A2BAR might be a therapeutic target for the prevention of renal ischemia. However, results obtained in animals do not always reflect the situation in people, so before A2BAR agonists can be used to reduce the chances of patients developing acute renal failure after surgery, these results need confirming in people and the safety of A2BAR agonists need to be thoroughly investigated.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on how the kidneys work and what can go wrong with them, including a list of links to further information about kidney disease
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on acute kidney failure (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has pages on acute renal failure, ischemia, ischemic preconditioning, and adenosine (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC2504049  PMID: 18578565
19.  Creatine supplementation during pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Thorax  2005;60(7):531-537.
Background: Skeletal muscle wasting and dysfunction are strong independent predictors of mortality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Creatine nutritional supplementation produces increased muscle mass and exercise performance in health. A controlled study was performed to look for similar effects in 38 patients with COPD.
Methods: Thirty eight patients with COPD (mean (SD) forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) 46 (15)% predicted) were randomised to receive placebo (glucose polymer 40.7 g) or creatine (creatine monohydrate 5.7 g, glucose 35 g) supplements in a double blind trial. After 2 weeks loading (one dose three times daily), patients participated in an outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programme combined with maintenance (once daily) supplementation. Pulmonary function, body composition, and exercise performance (peripheral muscle strength and endurance, shuttle walking, cycle ergometry) took place at baseline (n = 38), post loading (n = 36), and post rehabilitation (n = 25).
Results: No difference was found in whole body exercise performance between the groups: for example, incremental shuttle walk distance mean –23.1 m (95% CI –71.7 to 25.5) post loading and –21.5 m (95% CI –90.6 to 47.7) post rehabilitation. Creatine increased fat-free mass by 1.09 kg (95% CI 0.43 to 1.74) post loading and 1.62 kg (95% CI 0.47 to 2.77) post rehabilitation. Peripheral muscle performance improved: knee extensor strength 4.2 N.m (95% CI 1.4 to 7.1) and endurance 411.1 J (95% CI 129.9 to 692.4) post loading, knee extensor strength 7.3 N.m (95% CI 0.69 to 13.92) and endurance 854.3 J (95% CI 131.3 to 1577.4) post rehabilitation. Creatine improved health status between baseline and post rehabilitation (St George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score –7.7 (95% CI –14.9 to –0.5)).
Conclusions: Creatine supplementation led to increases in fat-free mass, peripheral muscle strength and endurance, health status, but not exercise capacity. Creatine may constitute a new ergogenic treatment in COPD.
PMCID: PMC1747450  PMID: 15994258
20.  A modified Glenn shunt reduces venous congestion during acute right ventricular failure due to pulmonary banding: a randomized experimental study 
Right ventricular failure after left ventricular assist device implantation is a serious complication with high rates of mortality and morbidity. It has been demonstrated in experimental settings that volume exclusion of the right ventricle with a modified Glenn shunt can improve haemodynamics during ischaemic right ventricular failure. However, the concept of a modified Glenn shunt is dependent on a normal pulmonary vascular resistance, which can limit its use in some patients. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of volume exclusion with a modified Glenn shunt during right ventricular failure due to pulmonary banding, and to study the alterations in genetic expression in the right ventricle due to pressure and volume overload.
Experimental right ventricular failure was induced in pigs (n = 11) through 2 h of pulmonary banding. The pigs were randomized to either treatment with a modified Glenn shunt and pulmonary banding (n = 6) or solely pulmonary banding (n = 5) as a control group. Haemodynamic measurements, blood samples and right ventricular biopsies for genetic analysis were sampled at baseline, at right ventricular failure (i.e. 2 h of pulmonary banding) and 1 h post-right ventricular failure in both groups.
Right atrial pressure increased from 10 mmHg (9.0–12) to 18 mmHg (16–22) (P < 0.01) and the right ventricular pressure from 31 mmHg (26–35) to 57 mmHg (49–61) (P < 0.01) after pulmonary banding. Subsequent treatment with the modified Glenn shunt resulted in a decrease in right atrial pressure to 13 mmHg (11–14) (P = 0.03). In the control group, right atrial pressure was unchanged at 19 mmHg (16–20) (P = 0.18). At right heart failure, there was an up-regulation of genes associated with heart failure, inflammation, angiogenesis, negative regulation of cell death and proliferation.
Volume exclusion with a modified Glenn shunt during right ventricular failure reduced venous congestion compared with the control group. The state of right heart failure was verified through genetic expressional changes.
PMCID: PMC3957294  PMID: 24396048
Right-sided heart failure; Bidirectional Glenn shunt; Assisted circulation; Microarray analysis
21.  Pulmonary artery ablation to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension: a case report 
Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension is defined as a group of diseases characterized by a progressive increase in pulmonary vascular resistance that results in right heart failure and premature death. Although therapies exist to improve hemodynamic instability and symptoms, there is no cure for pulmonary arterial hypertension and it remains a life-threatening condition. A recent study performed in China reported, for the first time, the effect of pulmonary arterial denervation on functional capacity and hemodynamics in patients with refractory idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Case presentation
We report a case of a 60-year-old white Brazilian man, with controlled hypertension and stage 2 obesity who complained of progressive fatigue with moderate to light exertion of approximately 1 year’s duration. During this period, he underwent myocardial perfusion scintigraphy without evidence of obstructive ischemic disease. He had no clinical evidence of systolic heart failure. He had undergone biological mitral valve replacement 3 years previously for mitral valve stenosis and ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia 18 months previously. At the time of valve replacement, he had no reported evidence of pulmonary arterial hypertension. His echocardiogram showed normal function of a mitral prosthesis, normal global left ventricular systolic function (left ventricular ejection fraction 62 % measured using the Teichholz method), stage I diastolic dysfunction, and a mean systolic pulmonary arterial blood pressure of 50 mmHg. In the 6-minute walk test, the patient walked 104 meters. Catheterization of his right heart chambers and pulmonary arteries confirmed the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. Electroanatomic reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract and pulmonary artery was performed under direct fluoroscopic visualization, and a merger was made with a formatted image of cardiac computed tomography angiography. Then we performed irrigated cardiac catheter ablation of the pulmonary trunk.
At the patient’s 3-month follow-up, he showed improvement in functional class for fatigue on major exertion, increased distance walked in the 6-minute walk test, and reductions in pressure of both the right cavities and the pulmonary artery. Currently, with 6 months of clinical follow-up, the patient has maintained his functional classification and is pedaling his bicycle.
PMCID: PMC4681147  PMID: 26670309
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Catheter ablation; Denervation; 6-Minute walk test; Pulmonary arterial pressure
22.  A pilot study of the effect of spironolactone therapy on exercise capacity and endothelial dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:91.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare disorder associated with poor survival. Endothelial dysfunction plays a central role in the pathogenesis and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Inflammation appears to drive this dysfunctional endothelial phenotype, propagating cycles of injury and repair in genetically susceptible patients with idiopathic and disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension. Therapy targeting pulmonary vascular inflammation to interrupt cycles of injury and repair and thereby delay or prevent right ventricular failure and death has not been tested. Spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid and androgen receptor antagonist, has been shown to improve endothelial function and reduce inflammation. Current management of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and symptoms of right heart failure includes use of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for their diuretic and natriuretic effects. We hypothesize that initiating spironolactone therapy at an earlier stage of disease in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension could provide additional benefits through anti-inflammatory effects and improvements in pulmonary vascular function.
Seventy patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension without clinical evidence of right ventricular failure will be enrolled in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effect of early treatment with spironolactone on exercise capacity, clinical worsening and vascular inflammation in vivo. Our primary endpoint is change in placebo-corrected 6-minute walk distance at 24 weeks and the incidence of clinical worsening in the spironolactone group compared to placebo. At a two-sided alpha level of 0.05, we will have at least 84% power to detect an effect size (group mean difference divided by standard deviation) of 0.9 for the difference in the change of 6-minute walk distance from baseline between the two groups. Secondary endpoints include the effect of spironolactone on the change in placebo-corrected maximal oxygen consumption; plasma markers of vascular inflammation and peripheral blood mononuclear cell gene expression profiles; sympathetic nervous system activation, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation and sex hormone metabolism; and right ventricular structure and function using echocardiography and novel high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging-based techniques. Safety and tolerability of spironolactone will be assessed with periodic monitoring for hyperkalemia and renal insufficiency as well as the incidence of drug discontinuation for untoward effects.
Trial registration NCT01712620
PMCID: PMC3653687  PMID: 23547564
Magnetic resonance imaging; Microarray; Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist; Neurohormonal axis; Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Right ventricular function; Vascular inflammation
23.  Xuan Bai Cheng Qi formula as an adjuvant treatment of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of the syndrome type phlegm-heat obstructing the lungs: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial 
Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is used to treat AECOPD as adjunctive therapy. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the TCM formula Xuan Bai Cheng Qi as an adjuvant therapy for AECOPD patients with the syndrome type of phlegm-heat obstructing the lungs.
A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted. A total of 244 patients were divided into the intervention group (n = 122, treated with conventional medicine and Xuan Bai Cheng Qi) and the control group (n = 122, treated with conventional medicine and placebo). Total symptom scores (cough, phlegm, wheezing, chest congestion) before treatment and at 3, 5, 7, 10 days post-treatment were recorded. Lung function, arterial blood gas, serum inflammatory cytokines, oxidation/anti-oxidation index were observed before treatment and at the end of the 10-day treatment.
A total of 242 patients completed the study. The full analysis set (FAS) population was 244 and the per-protocol analysis set (PPS) population was 229. After the 10-day treatment, symptom scores of the Xuan Bai Cheng Qi group were significantly lower over time compared with the control group (FAS: mean difference -1.84, 95% CI -2.66 to -1.03, P < .001; PPS: mean difference -1.87, 95% CI -2.71 to -1.03, P < .001). FEV1, FVC, and FEV1%pred were significantly higher over time in the Xuan Bai Cheng Qi group compared with those in the control group (day 10, FAS and PPS: P < .05). PaO2 and PaCO2 were significantly improved in the Xuan Bai Cheng Qi group (day 10, FAS and PPS: P < .05). Xuan Bai Cheng Qi was also found to ameliorate cytokine levels and oxidation/antioxidant index compared with placebo. There were no differences in safety variables and adverse events between the two groups.
Xuan Bai Cheng Qi formula appears to be a safe and beneficial treatment for AECOPD of phlegm-heat obstructing the lungs syndrome type.
PMCID: PMC4227061  PMID: 25014996
Acute exacerbation; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Xuan Bai Cheng Qi; Phlegm-heat obstructing lung; Syndrome; Traditional Chinese medicine
Patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension (CPH) who demonstrate a pulmonary vasodilation following calcium channel blocker (CCB) administration are defined as “responders”. In contrast, “non-responders” are patients who do not show such a pulmonary vasodilation with CCB therapy. The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of CCB therapy on right heart mechanics in experimental CCB responders versus CCB non-responders.
In 12 dogs, right atrial (RA) and ventricular (RV) pressure and volume (conductance catheters) were simultaneously recorded after 3 months of progressive pulmonary artery (PA) banding. Diltiazem was given at 10 mg/hr with the PA constricted (simulated CCB non-responder). Responders were then created by releasing the PA band to unload the ventricle. RA and RV contractility and diastolic stiffness (slope of end-systolic and end-diastolic pressure-volume relations) were calculated and RA reservoir and conduit function were quantified as RA inflow with the tricuspid valve closed versus open, respectively.
With CCB, RA contractility (p<0.03) and cardiac output (p<0.004) were compromised in simulated non-responders while RA stroke work was pharmacologically depressed in the setting of an unchanged afterload. After simulating a responder by controlled PA band release, the RA became less distensible, causing a shift from reservoir to conduit function (p<0.001) towards physiologic baseline conditions and a recovery in the hyperdynamic compensatory response in both chambers (p<0.007) as evidenced in a declined RA and RV contractility with an improved cardiac output as compared to CPH and simulated non-responders. RA and RV diastolic function in both groups was not affected by CCB.
CCB did not impact RV function in simulated non-responders, but significantly impaired RA contractility and cardiac output. In simulated responders, afterload fell substantially, thereby allowing the RA and RV to recover from their pathological hyperdynamic contractile response to CPH. This affect was able to outweigh the intrinsic negative effects of CCB therapy on systolic RA function. Current data suggest that the RA in CPH is much more sensitive to CCB therapy than the RV and delineate for the first time why CCB therapy in CPH has been empirically restricted to documented responders.
PMCID: PMC2693399  PMID: 19237986
calcium-channel blockers; chronic pulmonary hypertension; right heart function
25.  Genistein, a Soy Phytoestrogen, Reverses Severe Pulmonary Hypertension and Prevents Right Heart Failure in Rats 
Hypertension  2012;60(2):425-430.
Pretreatment with a phytoestrogen genistein has been shown to attenuate the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Because PH is not always diagnosed early, we examined whether genistein could also reverse preexisting established PH and prevent associated right heart failure (RHF). PH was induced in male rats by 60 mg/kg of monocrotaline. After 21 days, when PH was well established, rats received daily injection of genistein (1 mg/kg per day) for 10 days or were left untreated to develop RHF by day 30. Effects of genistein on human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell and endothelial cell proliferation and neonatal rat ventricular myocyte hypertrophy were assessed in vitro. Severe PH was evident 21 days after monocrotaline, as peak systolic right ventricular pressure increased to 66.35±1.03 mm Hg and right ventricular ejection fraction reduced to 41.99±1.27%. PH progressed to RHF by day 30 (right ventricular pressure, 72.41 ± 1.87 mm Hg; RV ejection fraction, 29.25 ± 0.88%), and mortality was ≈75% in RHF rats. Genistein therapy resulted in significant improvement in lung and heart function as right ventricular pressure was significantly reduced to 43.34±4.08 mm Hg and right ventricular ejection fraction was fully restored to 65.67 ± 1.08% similar to control. Genistein reversed PH-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling in vivo and inhibited human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation by ≈50% in vitro likely through estrogen receptor-β. Genistein also reversed right ventricular hypertrophy (right ventricular hypertrophy index, 0.35±0.029 versus 0.70±0.080 in RHF), inhibited neonatal rat ventricular myocyte hypertrophy, and restored PH-induced loss of capillaries in the right ventricle. These improvements in cardiopulmonary function and structure resulted in 100% survival by day 30. Genistein restored PH-induced downregulation of estrogen receptor-β expression in the right ventricle and lung. In conclusion, genistein therapy not only rescues preexisting severe PH but also prevents the progression of severe PH to RHF.
PMCID: PMC4252152  PMID: 22753213
pulmonary hypertension; right heart failure; genistein; angiogenesis; estrogen receptor-β

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