Tie-2 cre-mediated deficiency of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 potentiates experimental bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated pulmonary hypertension in neonatal mice

Renuka T. Menon, Amrit Kumar Shrestha, Roberto Barrios, Corey Reynolds, Binoy Shivanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)-associated pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a significant lung morbidity of infants, and disrupted lung angiogenesis is a hallmark of this disease. We observed that extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 support angiogenesis in vitro, and hyperoxia activates ERK1/2 in fetal human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs) and in neonatal murine lungs; however, their role in experimental BPD and PH is unknown. Therefore, we hypothesized that Tie2 Cre-mediated deficiency of ERK2 in the endothelial cells of neonatal murine lungs would potentiate hyperoxia-induced BPD and PH. We initially determined the role of ERK2 in in vitro angiogenesis using fetal HPMECs. To disrupt endothelial ERK2 signaling in the lungs, we decreased ERK2 expression by breeding ERK2flox/flox mice with Tie-Cre mice. One-day-old endothelial ERK2-suffcient (eERK2+/+) or –deficient (eERK2+/-) mice were exposed to normoxia or hyperoxia (FiO2 70%) for 14 d. We then performed lung morphometry, gene and protein expression studies, and echocardiography to determine the extent of inflammation, oxidative stress, and development of lungs and PH. The knockdown of ERK2 in HPMECs decreased in vitro angiogenesis. Hyperoxia increased lung inflammation and oxidative stress, decreased lung angiogenesis and alveolarization, and induced PH in neonatal mice; however, these effects were augmented in the presence of Tie2-Cre mediated endothelial ERK2 deficiency. Therefore, we conclude that endothelial ERK2 signaling is necessary to mitigate hyperoxia-induced experimental BPD and PH in neonatal mice. Our results indicate that endothelial ERK2 is a potential therapeutic target for the management of BPD and PH in infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2408
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2
  • HPMECs
  • Hyperoxia
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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