Sildenafil protects against pulmonary hypertension induced by hypoxia in neonatal rats via activation of PPARγ‑mediated downregulation of TRPC
- Wanjie Huang
- Na Liu
- Xin Tong
- Yanna Du
Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110004, P.R. China, Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450000, P.R. China
- Published online on: December 20, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2021.5074
Copyright: © Huang
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Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a common pulmonary vascular disease during the neonatal period, and it is associated with a high clinical mortality rate and a poor prognosis. At present, the treatment of PPHN is based mainly on inhaled nitric oxide (iNO), high‑frequency ventilation, and pulmonary vasodilators. Sildenafil has gradually begun to be used in recent years for the treatment of PPHN and has exhibited some success; however, its detailed mechanism of action requires further elucidation. An animal model of neonatal pulmonary hypertension (neonatal rats, 48 h after birth, 10% O2, 14 days) as well as a cell model [human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), 4% O2, 60 h] were established. The effects of sildenafil on pulmonary hypertension in neonatal rats were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin staining, immunofluorescence analysis, western blotting and PCR, and the changes in peroxisome proliferator‑activated receptor γ (PPARγ), transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC)1, TRPC6 and Ki67 expression levels were detected under hypoxic conditions. The results revealed that sildenafil reversed the increases in the right ventricular mean pressure and right ventricular hypertrophy index induced by hypoxia, and attenuated pulmonary arterial remodeling as well as PASMC proliferation. The inhibitory effects of sildenafil on TRPC expression and PASMC proliferation were attenuated by GW9662 and PPARγ small interfering RNA. In conclusion, sildenafil protects against hypoxia‑induced pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy in neonatal rats by upregulating PPARγ expression and downregulating TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression.