Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene therapy may be effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension

Date:
May 23, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Gene therapy has been shown to have positive effects in rat models of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Gene therapy has been shown to have positive effects in rat models of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

PAH is a life-threatening disease in which pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs increases, causing a back-pressure strain on the heart. In inherited forms of the disease, PAH is caused by a mutation in a receptor called bone morphogenetic protein receptor, type II (BMPR2). Even in some non-inherited forms of the disease, BMPR2 levels are low.

There have been many improvements to outcomes in PAH in recent years with new drug therapies, but many patients still ultimately die of the disease and thus new treatments are still needed.

"We investigated whether increasing BMPR2 levels might improve pulmonary hypertension. We used two rat models of pulmonary hypertension, and increased BMPR2 levels in the lungs using a gene therapy approach," said Paul Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D, FRACP, principal investigator. "We found in both models that BMPR2 gene delivery significantly reduced pulmonary hypertension and the strain it causes on the heart."

The results are being reported at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Reynolds and colleagues induced PAH in Sprague-Dawley rats by keeping them in a hypoxic (10 percent oxygen) chamber for three weeks. Half of the rats were then treated with a viral vector bearing a pulmonary endothelial targeting conjugate designed to boost BMPR2; half were treated with a placebo vector. Then all rats were subjected to a further three weeks of hypoxia at which time PAH was assessed. In a separate model, the researchers induced PAH by injecting the chemical monocrotaline (MCT), which causes inflammation in the pulmonary blood vessels. Rats were first injected with MCT to induce PAH, then half were given the BMPR2 vector or a placebo vector and PAH was assessed 10 days later.

The researchers found in both models that the rats that were treated with the BMPR2 vector compared to placebo had significantly reduced right ventricular hypertrophy, reduced pulmonary vascular resistance, and improved cardiac output.

"These findings were based on the knowledge that low BMPR2 levels are associated with pulmonary hypertension, but it has not previously been shown that increasing BMPR2 levels might be used as a therapy," said Dr. Reynolds. "This research strongly suggests that increasing BMPR2 levels might offer a new therapeutic target in pulmonary hypertension."

Further research is need to better understand how and why increasing BMPR2 signalling in the lungs leads to improvements in PAH, and improvements to the gene delivery vectors would be needed for application to human patients.

"We feel encouraged to see such strong therapeutic results from increasing BMPR2 in the rat model," said Dr. Reynolds. "To apply the gene therapy approach to human patients will require more refinement of the gene therapy vector system, which is something we are working on. However, the principal established here also identifies BMPR2 upregulation as a target for the development of more conventional pharmaceuticals. Either way, there is hope that this approach will ultimately lead to more effective therapies for this potentially deadly condition."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Gene therapy may be effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112607.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, May 23). Gene therapy may be effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112607.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Gene therapy may be effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112607.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins