Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase Promotes Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling and Is a Therapeutic Target in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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Abstract

Background:

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a severe and progressive disease, a hallmark of which is pulmonary vascular remodeling. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a cytozyme that regulates intracellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide levels and cellular redox state, regulates histone deacetylases, promotes cell proliferation, and inhibits apoptosis. We hypothesized that NAMPT promotes pulmonary vascular remodeling and that inhibition of NAMPT could attenuate pulmonary hypertension.

Methods:

Plasma, mRNA, and protein levels of NAMPT were measured in the lungs and isolated pulmonary artery endothelial cells from patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and in the lungs of rodent models of pulmonary hypertension. Nampt+/− mice were exposed to 10% hypoxia and room air for 4 weeks, and the preventive and therapeutic effects of NAMPT inhibition were tested in the monocrotaline and Sugen hypoxia models of pulmonary hypertension. The effects of NAMPT activity on proliferation, migration, apoptosis, and calcium signaling were tested in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.

Results:

Plasma and mRNA and protein levels of NAMPT were increased in the lungs and isolated pulmonary artery endothelial cells from patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, as well as in lungs of rodent models of pulmonary hypertension. Nampt+/− mice were protected from hypoxia-mediated pulmonary hypertension. NAMPT activity promoted human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation via a paracrine effect. In addition, recombinant NAMPT stimulated human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation via enhancement of store-operated calcium entry by enhancing expression of Orai2 and STIM2. Last, inhibition of NAMPT activity attenuated monocrotaline and Sugen hypoxia–induced pulmonary hypertension in rats.

Conclusions:

Our data provide evidence that NAMPT plays a role in pulmonary vascular remodeling and that its inhibition could be a potential therapeutic target for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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