Cytochrome P450 epoxygenase gene function in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and pulmonary vascular remodeling

Peter Pokreisz, Ingrid Fleming, Ladislau Kiss, Eduardo Barbosa-Sicard, Beate Fisslthaler, John R. Falck, Bruce D. Hammock, In Hae Kim, Zsolt Szelid, Pieter Vermeersch, Hilde Gillijns, Marijke Pellens, Friedrich Grimminger, Anton Jan Van Zonneveld, Desire Collen, Rudi Busse, Stefan Janssens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


We assessed pulmonary cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenase expression and activity during hypoxia and explored the effects of modulating epoxygenase activity on pulmonary hypertension. The acute hypoxic vasoconstrictor response was studied in Swiss Webster mice, who express CYP2C29 in their lungs. Animals were pretreated with vehicle, the epoxygenase inhibitor (N-methylsulfonyl-6-[2- propargyloxyphenyl] hexanamide) or an inhibitor of the soluble epoxide hydrolase. Whereas the epoxygenase inhibitor attenuated hypoxic pulmonary constriction (by 52%), the soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor enhanced the response (by 39%), indicating that CYP epoxygenase-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids elicit pulmonary vasoconstriction. Aerosol gene transfer of recombinant adenovirus containing the human CYP2C9 significantly elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure and total pulmonary resistance indices, both of which were sensitive to the inhibitor sulfaphenazole. The prolonged exposure of mice to hypoxia increased CYP2C29 expression, and transcript levels increased 5-fold after exposure to normobaric hypoxia (FIO2 0.07) for 2 hours. This was followed by a 2-fold increase in protein expression and by a significant increase in epoxyeicosatrienoic acid production after 24 hours. Chronic hypoxia (7 days) elicited pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular remodeling, effects that were significantly attenuated in animals continually treated with N-methylsulfonyl-6-[2-propargyloxyphenyl] hexanamide (-46% and -55%, respectively). Our results indicate that endogenously generated epoxygenase products are associated with hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in mice and that selective epoxygenase inhibition significantly reduces acute hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling. These observations indicate potential novel targets for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and highlight a pivotal role for CYP epoxygenases in pulmonary responses to hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-770
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Arachidonic acids
  • Endothelium-derived factors
  • Lung
  • Remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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