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Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) Protein Signaling Participates in Development of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Rats

Fan Hu, Caijun Liu, Hanmin Liu, Liang Xie, Li Yu

Department of Pediatrics, West China Second University Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4391-4400

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906568

Available online:

Published: 2017-09-12


BACKGROUND: Previous studies revealed physiological and pathogenetic similarity between vascular smooth muscles cells with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension and tumors. The DNA damage response was found in both pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) cells and tumors. The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated proteins (ATM) pathway is considered an important factor in the DNA damage response of tumor formation, but its function in the development of PAH remains unknown.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Sprague-Dawley rat PAH model was established. Three weeks (Group M1), 5 weeks (Group M2), and 7 weeks (Group M3) after drug injection, pulmonary expression of ATM, Checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), P53, and P21 were measured. A section of the lungs from Group M2 was used for pulmonary artery vascular smooth muscles cells (PA-SMCs) isolation and culture. The effect of KU60019 in the proliferation and apoptosis of primary cultured rat PA-SMCs was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL), respectively.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry results show that the expression of ATM, Chk2, and P21 increased in Groups M1 and M2, and decreased in Group M3. Additionally, expression of P53 increased in Group M1, and decreased in Groups M2 and M3. RT-PCR and Western blotting demonstrated that in Groups M1 and M2, the expression of ATM, Chk2, P53, and P21 increased, whereas it decreased in Group M3. In cell culture, 0.3 μM and 0.5 μM KU60019 increased the growth of PA-SMCs, and 0.5 μM KU60019 reduced cell apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Expression of the ATM-Chk2 pathway increased in early stages of PAH formation, but decreased in late stages. In primary cultured PA-SMCs, KU60019 increased cell proliferation and inhibited cell apoptosis.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins, Cell Proliferation, Pulmonary Artery



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