RP5063, a novel, multimodal, serotonin receptor modulator, prevents monocrotaline-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension in rats
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a condition characterized by pulmonary vasculature constriction and remodeling, involves dysregulation of the serotonin (5-HT) receptors 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B. A rat model of monocrotaline (MCT)-induced PAH was used to examine the potential beneficial effects of RP5063, a 5-HT receptor modulator. After a single 60 mg/kg dose of MCT, rats were gavaged twice-daily (b.i.d.) with vehicle, RP5063 (1, 3, or 10 mg/kg), or sildenafil (50 mg/kg) for 28 days. RP5063 at a dose as low as 1 mg/kg, b.i.d. reduced pulmonary resistance and increased systemic blood oxygen saturation. The highest dose of RP5063 (10 mg/kg, b.i.d.) reduced diastolic, systolic, and mean pulmonary pressure, right systolic ventricular pressure, ventilatory pressure, and Fulton's index (ratio of right to left ventricular weight). Doses as low as 3 mg/kg RP5063, b.i.d. also increased weight gain and body temperature, suggesting an improvement in overall health of MCT-treated animals. Similar reductions in pulmonary, right ventricular, and ventilatory pressure, pulmonary resistance, and Fulton's index as well as increased systemic blood oxygen saturation were observed in animals treated with the reference agent sildenafil at a higher dose (50 mg/kg, b.i.d.). Histological examination revealed that RP5063 produced dose-dependent reductions in pulmonary blood vessel wall thickness and proportion of muscular vessels, similar to sildenafil. RP5063 completely blocked MCT-induced increases in the plasma cytokines TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 at all doses. In summary, RP5063 improved pulmonary vascular pathology and hemodynamics, right ventricular pressure and hypertrophy, systemic oxygen saturation, and overall health of rats treated with MCT.