Hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) are transcription factors that are regulated by HIF-prolyl 4-hydroxylases (PHDs) in response to changes in oxygen tension. Once activated, HIFs play an important role in angiogenesis, erythropoiesis, proliferation, cell survival, inflammation, and energy metabolism. We hypothesized that GSK360A, a novel orally active HIF-PHD inhibitor, could facilitate local and systemic HIF-1α signaling and protect the failing heart after myocardial infarction (MI).Methods and Results:
GSK360A is a potent (nanomolar) inhibitor of HIF-PHDs (PHD1>PHD2 = PHD3) capable of activating the HIF-1α pathway in a variety of cell types including neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and H9C2 cells. Male rats treated orally with GSK360A (30 mg·kg−1·d−1) had a sustained elevation in circulating levels of erythropoietin and hemoglobin and increased hemoxygenase-1 expression in the heart and skeletal muscle. In a rat model of established heart failure with systolic dysfunction induced by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery, chronic treatment with GSK360A for 28 days prevented the progressive reduction in ejection fraction, ventricular dilation, and increased lung weight, which were observed in the vehicle-treated animals, for up to 3 months. In addition, the microvascular density in the periinfarct region was increased (>2-fold) in GSK360A-treated animals. Treatment was well tolerated (survival was 89% in the GSK360A group vs. 82% in the placebo group).Conclusions:
Chronic post-myocardial infarction treatment with a selective HIF PHD inhibitor (GSK360A) exerts systemic and local effects by stabilizing HIF-1α signaling and improves long-term ventricular function, remodeling, and vascularity in a model of established ventricular dysfunction. These results suggest that HIF-PHD inhibitors may be suitable for the treatment of post-MI remodeling and heart failure.