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Fra-2 transgenic mice as a novel model of pulmonary hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis


Maurer, Britta; Reich, Nicole; Juengel, Astrid; Kriegsmann, Jörg; Gay, Renate E; Schett, Georg; Michel, Beat A; Gay, Steffen; Distler, Jörg H W; Distler, Oliver (2012). Fra-2 transgenic mice as a novel model of pulmonary hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71(8):1382-1387.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension differs from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension with respect to histopathology, treatment responses and survival. Medical progress on PAH is hampered by the lack of human biosamples and suitable animal models. In this study, the authors evaluated fos-related antigen 2 (Fra-2) transgenic mice as a novel model for systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.METHODS: Lung sections of Fra-2 transgenic (n=12) and wild-type mice (n=6) were analysed at 16 weeks by histology using Dana Point criteria. Cellular and molecular key players were assessed by immunohistochemistry. To test the model's sensitivity to change over treatment, a subgroup of Fra-2 transgenic mice (n=6) was treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib twice daily 37.5 mg orally from 8 weeks of age.RESULTS: Fra-2 transgenic mice developed severe vascular remodelling of pulmonary arteries and non-specific interstitial pneumonia-like interstitial lung disease resembling human systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary hypertension. Histological features typical for systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension, such as intimal thickening with concentric laminar lesions, medial hypertrophy, perivascular inflammatory infiltrates, adventitial fibrosis, but not pulmonary occlusive venopathy were frequently detected. Platelet-derived growth factor signalling pathways were activated in pulmonary vessels of Fra-2 transgenic compared with wild-type mice. Since treatment with nilotinib strongly prevented the development of proliferative vasculopathy and lung fibrosis, the model proved to be sensitive to treatment.CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that Fra-2 transgenic mice as an animal model of systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension display main characteristic features of the human disease. It therefore allows studying pathophysiological aspects and might serve as a preclinical model for interventional proof-of-concept studies.

OBJECTIVE: Systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension differs from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension with respect to histopathology, treatment responses and survival. Medical progress on PAH is hampered by the lack of human biosamples and suitable animal models. In this study, the authors evaluated fos-related antigen 2 (Fra-2) transgenic mice as a novel model for systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.METHODS: Lung sections of Fra-2 transgenic (n=12) and wild-type mice (n=6) were analysed at 16 weeks by histology using Dana Point criteria. Cellular and molecular key players were assessed by immunohistochemistry. To test the model's sensitivity to change over treatment, a subgroup of Fra-2 transgenic mice (n=6) was treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib twice daily 37.5 mg orally from 8 weeks of age.RESULTS: Fra-2 transgenic mice developed severe vascular remodelling of pulmonary arteries and non-specific interstitial pneumonia-like interstitial lung disease resembling human systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary hypertension. Histological features typical for systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension, such as intimal thickening with concentric laminar lesions, medial hypertrophy, perivascular inflammatory infiltrates, adventitial fibrosis, but not pulmonary occlusive venopathy were frequently detected. Platelet-derived growth factor signalling pathways were activated in pulmonary vessels of Fra-2 transgenic compared with wild-type mice. Since treatment with nilotinib strongly prevented the development of proliferative vasculopathy and lung fibrosis, the model proved to be sensitive to treatment.CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that Fra-2 transgenic mice as an animal model of systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension display main characteristic features of the human disease. It therefore allows studying pathophysiological aspects and might serve as a preclinical model for interventional proof-of-concept studies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:04 Jun 2012 09:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:49
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0003-4967
Publisher DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200940
PubMed ID:22523431
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-62507

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