Diethylcarbamazine: A potential treatment drug for pulmonary hypertension?
The present study demonstrated the potential effects of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) on monocrotaline (MCT)-induced pulmonary hypertension. MCT solution (600 mg/kg) was administered once per week, and 50 mg/kg body weight of DEC for 28 days. Three C57Bl/6 male mice groups (n = 10) were studied: Control; MCT28, and MCT28/DEC. Echocardiography analysis was performed and lung tissues were collected for light microscopy (hematoxylin-eosin and Masson's trichrome staining), immunohistochemistry (αSMA, FADD, caspase 8, caspase 3, BAX, BCL2, cytochrome C and caspase 9) western blot (FADD, caspase 8, caspase 3, BAX, BCL2, cytochrome C and caspase 9) and qRt-PCR (COL-1α and αSMA). Echocardiography analysis demonstrated an increase in the pulmonary arterial blood flow gradient and velocity in the systole and RV area in the MCT28 group, while treatment with DEC resulted in a significant reduction in these parameters. Deposition of collagen fibers and αSMA staining around the pulmonary arteries was evident in the MCT28 group, while treatment with DEC reduced both. Western blot analysis revealed a decrease in BMPR2 in the MCT28 group, in contrast DEC treatment resulted in a significant increase in the level of BMPR2. DEC also significantly reduced the level of VEGF compared to the MCT28 group. Apoptosis extrinsic and intrinsic pathway markers were reduced in the MCT28 group. After treatment with DEC these levels returned to baseline. The results of this study indicate that DEC attenuates PH in an experimental monocrotaline-induced model by inhibiting a series of markers involved in cell proliferation/death.