1. Department of Pathophysiology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi`an, 710032, PR China.
2. Clinical laboratory, the Eighth Hospital of PLA, Xigaze, 857000, PR China.
3. Physical Examination Center of Beijing Military Region General Hospital, Beijing, 100700, PR China.
*Contributed equally to this paper.
Resveratrol, a plant-derived polyphenolic compound and a phytoestrogen, was shown to possess multiple protective effects including anti-inflammatory response and anti-oxidative stress. Hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH) is a progressive disease characterized by sustained vascular resistance and marked pulmonary vascular remodeling. The exact mechanisms of HPH are still unclear, but inflammatory response and oxidative stress was demonstrated to participate in the progression of HPH. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of resveratrol on HPH development. Sprague-Dawley rats were challenged by hypoxia exposure for 28 days to mimic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension along with treating resveratrol (40 mg/kg/day). Hemodynamic and pulmonary pathomorphology data were then obtained, and the anti-proliferation effect of resveratrol was determined by in vitro assays. The anti-inflammation and anti-oxidative effects of resveratrol were investigated in vivo and in vitro. The present study showed that resveratrol treatment alleviated right ventricular systolic pressure and pulmonary arterial remodeling induced by hypoxia. In vitro experiments showed that resveratrol notably inhibited proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells in an ER-independent manner. Data showed that resveratrol administration inhibited HIF-1 α expression in vivo and in vitro, suppressed inflammatory cells infiltration around the pulmonary arteries, and decreased ROS production induced by hypoxia in PAMSCs. The inflammatory cytokines' mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 6, and interleukin 1β were all suppressed by resveratrol treatment. The in vitro assays showed that resveratrol inhibited the expression of HIF-1 α via suppressing the MAPK/ERK1 and PI3K/AKT pathways. The antioxidant axis of Nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2/ Thioredoxin 1 (Nrf-2/Trx-1) was up-regulated both in lung tissues and in cultured PASMCs. In general, the current study demonstrated that resveratrol may prevent pulmonary hypertension through its anti-proliferation, anti-inflammation and antioxidant effects. Hence, the present data may offer novel targets and promising pharmacological perspective for treating hypoxic pulmonary hypertension.
Keywords: resveratrol, hypoxic pulmonary hypertension, reactive oxygen species, inflammation, hypoxia inducible factor 1 α, estrogen receptor, nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2, thioredoxin 1.