Molecular Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 38–46 | Cite as

Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase Overexpression Can Reverse the Course of Hypoxia-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension

  • Mohamed N. Ahmed
  • Yinzhong Zhang
  • Champa Codipilly
  • Nahla Zaghloul
  • Dhara Patel
  • Michael Wolin
  • Edmund J. Miller
Research Article


Hypoxia leads to free radical production, which has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We hypothesized that treatment with extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) could ameliorate the development of PH induced by hypoxia. In vitrostudies using pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells showed that cells transfected with EC-SOD had significantly less accumulation of xanthine oxidase and reactive oxygen species than nontransfected cells after hypoxia exposure for 24 h. To study the prophylactic role of EC-SOD, adult male wild-type (WT) and transgenic (TG) mice, with lung-specific overexpression of human EC-SOD (hEC-SOD), were exposed to fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) 10% for 10 d. After exposure, right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP), right ventricular mass (RV/S + LV), pulmonary vascular wall thickness (PVWT) and pulmonary artery contraction/relaxation were assessed. TG mice were protected against PH compared with WT mice with significantly lower RVSP (23.9 ± 1.24 versus 47.2 ± 3.4), RV/S + LV (0.287 ± 0.015 versus 0.335 ± 0.022) and vascular remodeling, indicated by PVWT (14.324 ± 1.107 versus 18.885 ± 1.529). Functional studies using pulmonary arteries isolated from mice indicated that EC-SOD prevents hypoxia-mediated attenuation of nitric oxide-induced relaxation. Therapeutic potential was assessed by exposing WT mice to FiO2 10% for 10 d. Half of the group was transfected with plasmid containing cDNA encoding human EC-SOD. The remaining animals were transfected with empty vector. Both groups were exposed to FiO2 10% for a further 10 d. Transfected mice had significantly reduced RVSP (18.97 ± 1.12 versus 41.3 ± 1.5), RV/S + LV (0.293 ± 0.012 versus 0.372 ± 0.014) and PVWT (12.51 ± 0.72 versus 18.98 ± 1.24). On the basis of these findings, we concluded that overexpression of EC-SOD prevents the development of PH and ameliorates established PH.



This study was funded by the Department of Pediatrics at the NS-LIJ Health System.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed N. Ahmed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yinzhong Zhang
    • 2
  • Champa Codipilly
    • 2
  • Nahla Zaghloul
    • 1
  • Dhara Patel
    • 1
  • Michael Wolin
    • 3
  • Edmund J. Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.Cohen Children’s Medical CenterNorth Shore-Long Island Jewish Health SystemNew Hyde ParkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Heart and Lung ResearchFeinstein Institute for Medical ResearchManhassetUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA

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