PBI-4050 Reduces Pulmonary Hypertension, Lung fibrosis and Right Ventricular Dysfunction in Heart Failure

Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) causes lung remodelling with myofibroblasts proliferation and fibrosis leading to a restrictive lung syndrome with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. PBI-4050 is a first-in-class anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative compound. The present study evaluated the therapeutic impact of PBI-4050 on PH in an HFrEF model.

HFrEF was induced after myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. Two weeks later, sham-operated and MI groups received PBI-4050 (200 mg/kg/day by gavage) or saline for 3 weeks. Animals were analysed according to infarct size as large (≥30% left ventricle [LV]) or medium MI (< 30%). Large MI caused PH and RV hypertrophy (RVH) with a restrictive lung syndrome. PBI-4050 did not adversely affect LV function but markedly reduced PH and RVH and improved RV dysfunction. PBI-4050 reduced lung remodelling and improved respiratory compliance with decreased lung fibrosis, alveolar wall cellular proliferation and α-smooth muscle actin expression. The increased expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and of tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease (TIMP-1) in the lungs from HFrEF were reduced with PBI-4050 therapy. Activation of isolated human lung fibroblasts (HLFs) to a myofibroblastic pro-fibrogenic phenotype was markedly reduced by PBI-4050. The fatty acid receptor GPR84 was increased in HFrEF lungs and in activated HLFs, and reduced by PBI-4050. GPR84 agonists activated fibrogenesis in HLFs and finally, PBI-4050 reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation.

PBI-4050 reduces PH and RVH in HFrEF by decreasing lung fibrosis and remodelling. This novel agent decreases the associated restrictive lung syndrome and recovers RV function. A contributing mechanism involves reducing the activation of lung fibroblasts by IL-6, TGF-β and ET-1 by antagonism of GPR84 and reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. PBI-4050 is a novel promising therapy for targeting lung remodelling in group II PH.

Source: European Heart Journal