Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(6):854-863. doi:10.7150/ijms.31690

Research Paper

Hepatocyte growth factor plays a particular role in progression of overall cardiac damage in experimental pulmonary hypertension

Michal Radik, Zuzana Kmecova, Jana Veteskova, Eva Malikova, Gabriel Doka, Peter Krenek, Jan Klimas

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University in Bratislava, Odbojarov 10, 83232 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Abstract

Background: HGF/MET pathway may have a role in pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, the link between the pathway and development of target organ damage in PH remains elusive. We aimed to demonstrate the relation between plasma HGF and HGF/MET tissue expressions in affected organs during PH progression.

Methods: 12 weeks old male Wistar rats were injected with monocrotaline (MCT, 60 mg/kg, s.c.) to induce PH and sacrificed after 1, 2 and 4 weeks. Controls received saline. mRNA levels of HGF regulatory complex (Hgf, Met, Hgfa, Hai-1, Hai-2) were determined in right and left ventricles (RV, LV), lungs, pulmonary artery and liver by RT-qPCR. HGF protein levels in plasma were analysed by ELISA.

Results: PH development was associated with a progressive elevation of HGF plasma levels that correlated with relative RV mass. Furthermore, Hgf mRNA expressions at week 4 were upregulated solely in the cardiac ventricles while being downregulated in a. pulmonalis, lungs and liver. Met and Hai-1/Hai-2 followed a similar pattern and were upregulated in cardiac ventricles, where Hgfa remained unchanged, but downregulated in lungs.

Conclusion: We suggest that cardiac overexpression of Hgf might contribute to increased plasma HGF in MCT-induced PH. HGF could be exploited as a cardiospecific biomarker and HGF/MET pathway as a target in drug discovery for PH.

Keywords: HGF, MET receptor, pulmonary hypertension, monocrotaline, biomarker

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How to cite this article:
Radik M, Kmecova Z, Veteskova J, Malikova E, Doka G, Krenek P, Klimas J. Hepatocyte growth factor plays a particular role in progression of overall cardiac damage in experimental pulmonary hypertension. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(6):854-863. doi:10.7150/ijms.31690. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p0854.htm