MMP-2 and MMP-9 contribute to the angiogenic effect produced by hypoxia/15-HETE in pulmonary endothelial cells

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Volume 121
Author(s): Ying Liu, Hongyue Zhang, Lixin Yan, Wei Du, Min Zhang, He Chen, Lixin Zhang, Guangqun Li, Jijin Li, Yinchu Dong, Daling Zhu
Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) are the predominant gelatinases in the developing lung. Studies have shown that the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 is upregulated in hypoxic fibroblasts, 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) regulated fibroblasts migration via modulating MMP-2 or MMP-9, and that hypoxia/15-HETE is a predominant contributor to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) through increased angiogenesis. However, the roles of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs) angiogenesis as well as the molecular mechanism of hypoxia-regulated MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression have not been identified. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in PAEC proliferation and vascular angiogenesis and to determine the effects of hypoxia-induced 15-HETE on the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and real-time PCR were used to measure the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in hypoxic PAECs. Immunohistochemical staining, flow cytometry, and tube formation as well as cell proliferation, viability, scratch-wound, and Boyden chamber migration assays were used to identify the roles and relationships between MMP-2, MMP-9, and 15-HETE in hypoxic PAECs. We found that hypoxia increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in pulmonary artery endothelium both in vivo and in vitro in a time-dependent pattern. Moreover, administration of the MMP-2 and MMP-9 inhibitor MMI-166 significantly reversed hypoxia-induced increases in right ventricular systemic pressure (RVSP), right ventricular function, and thickening of the tunica media. Furthermore, up-regulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression was induced by 15-HETE, which regulates PAEC proliferation, migration, and cell cycle transition that eventually leads to angiogenesis. Our study demonstrated that hypoxia increases the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 through the 15-lipoxygenase/15-HETE pathway, and that MMP-2 and MMP-9 promote PAEC angiogenesis. These findings suggest that MMP-2 and MMP-9 may serve as new potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of PAH.