Abstract 2616: Role of the Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase in Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction and Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling
The soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which is expressed in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells, metabolizes cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenase-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to their less active diols. Preliminary findings indicate a role of the sEH on hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) and a vasoconstrictor role of EETs in the pulmonary vasculature. Here we assessed the influence of hypoxia on the expression of the sEH, acute HPV and pulmonary vascular remodeling. In lungs from wild-type mice (WT), exposure to hypoxia (FiO2 = 0.1) for 21 days decreased the expression of the sEH by 70% (RT-PCR), and increased the number of partially and fully muscularised resistance arteries (by 3-fold). In isolated lungs, pre-exposure to chronic hypoxia significantly increased baseline perfusion pressures (1.3-fold) and potentiated the acute HPV (1.5-fold). While an sEH inhibitor (1-adamantyl-3-cyclohexylurea; ACU) potentiated acute HPV in lungs from mice maintained in normoxic conditions, it had no effect on HPV in lungs from mice exposed to hypoxia. The EET antagonist, 14,15-EEZE, abolished the sEH inhibitor-dependent increase in acute HPV in normoxic lungs. Under normoxic conditions the muscularization of small pulmonary arteries was greater in lungs from sEH−/− mice than in lungs from WT mice and chronic hypoxia further increased the number of fully and partially muscularized arteries in these animals. sEH−/− mice also displayed an enhanced acute HPV (1.5-fold), compared to that observed in WT mice and chronic exposure to hypoxia did not further potentiate acute HPV. Taken together, these data indicate that the sEH is involved in hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling and hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction.