Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells Are Necessary for Development of Pulmonary Hypertension

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Pulmonary hypertension (PH) complicates the care of patients with chronic lung disease, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), resulting in a significant increase in morbidity and mortality. Disease pathogenesis is orchestrated by unidentified myeloid-derived cells. We used murine models of PH and pulmonary fibrosis to study the role of circulating myeloid cells in disease pathogenesis and prevention. We administered clodronate liposomes to bleomycin-treated wild-type mice to induce pulmonary fibrosis and PH with a resulting increase in circulating bone marrow-derived cells. We discovered that a population of C-X-C motif chemokine receptor (CXCR) 2+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), granulocytic subset (G-MDSC), is associated with severe PH in mice. Pulmonary pressures worsened despite improvement in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. PH was attenuated by CXCR2 inhibition, with antagonist SB 225002, through decreasing G-MDSC recruitment to the lung. Molecular and cellular analysis of clinical patient samples confirmed a role for elevated MDSCs in IPF and IPF with PH. These data show that MDSCs play a key role in PH pathogenesis and that G-MDSC trafficking to the lung, through chemokine receptor CXCR2, increases development of PH in multiple murine models. Furthermore, we demonstrate pathology similar to the preclinical models in IPF with lung and blood samples from patients with PH, suggesting a potential role for CXCR2 inhibitor use in this patient population. These findings are significant, as there are currently no approved disease-specific therapies for patients with PH complicating IPF.

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