Downregulation of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor Axis During HIV-1 and Cocaine-Mediated Pulmonary Smooth Muscle Hyperplasia
Implications for HIV-Related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Objective—Our previous findings support an additive effect of cocaine to HIV infection in the development of pulmonary arteriopathy through enhanced proliferation of human pulmonary smooth muscle cells. We now examined the role of antiproliferative bone morphogenetic protein receptor (BMPR) axis in HIV protein and cocaine-mediated pulmonary smooth muscle hyperplasia.
Approach and Results—Stimulation of BMPR axis resulted in attenuation of synergistic increase in the proliferation of human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells in response to cocaine and HIV protein, transactivator of transcription. Interestingly, an increase in mRNA but decrease in protein levels of BMPR with correlated decrease in the activation of Sma- and MAD-related family protein 1/5/8 and Id1 gene expression was observed on combined treatment with cocaine and transactivator of transcription when compared with the untreated cells at all time points tested. Although longer exposure to either cocaine or transactivator of transcription alone also resulted in a significant decrease in the BMPR protein expression, the abrogation on combined treatment was still significantly more when compared with that of the monotreatments. Significant increase in mRNA but downmodulation of BMPR protein expression was also observed in the lung extracts from HIV-infected intravenous drug users (HIV+IVDU) when compared with that from HIV-infected non-IVDUs (HIV) or uninfected IVDUs (IVDU). Furthermore, significant decrease in BMPR protein expression was also observed in HIV or IVDUs when compared with normal controls that correlated with in vitro findings on chronic exposure to cocaine or HIV protein alone.
Conclusion—Simultaneous exposure of pulmonary smooth muscle cells to viral protein(s) and cocaine exacerbates downregulation of BMPR axis that may result in enhanced pulmonary vasculature aberrations in HIV+IVDUs.
- Received December 5, 2012.
- Accepted August 21, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.