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Open AccessArticle

Pulmonary Vascular Platform Models the Effects of Flow and Pressure on Endothelial Dysfunction in BMPR2 Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092561
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Pulmonary Hypertension)
Endothelial dysfunction is a known consequence of bone morphogenetic protein type II receptor (BMPR2) mutations seen in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, standard 2D cell culture models fail to mimic the mechanical environment seen in the pulmonary vasculature. Hydrogels have emerged as promising platforms for 3D disease modeling due to their tunable physical and biochemical properties. In order to recreate the mechanical stimuli seen in the pulmonary vasculature, we have created a novel 3D hydrogel-based pulmonary vasculature model (“artificial arteriole”) that reproduces the pulsatile flow rates and pressures seen in the human lung. Using this platform, we studied both Bmpr2R899X and WT endothelial cells to better understand how the addition of oscillatory flow and physiological pressure influenced gene expression, cell morphology, and cell permeability. The addition of oscillatory flow and pressure resulted in several gene expression changes in both WT and Bmpr2R899X cells. However, for many pathways with relevance to PAH etiology, Bmpr2R899X cells responded differently when compared to the WT cells. Bmpr2R899X cells were also found not to elongate in the direction of flow, and instead remained stagnant in morphology despite mechanical stimuli. The increased permeability of the Bmpr2R899X layer was successfully reproduced in our artificial arteriole, with the addition of flow and pressure not leading to significant changes in permeability. Our artificial arteriole is the first to model many mechanical properties seen in the lung. Its tunability enables several new opportunities to study the endothelium in pulmonary vascular disease with increased control over environmental parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: pulmonary arterial hypertension; endothelial dysfunction; disease modeling pulmonary arterial hypertension; endothelial dysfunction; disease modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

D’Amico, R.W.; Faley, S.; Shim, H.-N.; Prosser, J.R.; Agrawal, V.; Bellan, L.M.; West, J.D. Pulmonary Vascular Platform Models the Effects of Flow and Pressure on Endothelial Dysfunction in BMPR2 Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2561.

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