Importance of kynurenine in pulmonary hypertension

Bence M. Nagy, Chandran Nagaraj, Andreas Meinitzer, Neha Sharma, Rita Papp, Vasile Foris, Bahil Ghanim, Grazyna Kwapiszewska, Gabor Kovacs, Walter Klepetko, Thomas R. Pieber, Harald Mangge (+2 others)
2017 American Journal of Physiology - Lung cellular and Molecular Physiology  
The tryptophan metabolite kynurenine is significantly increased in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients, and it is a potent vasodilator of systemic arteries. Our aim was to investigate the role of kynurenine in the pulmonary circulation. Serum tryptophan, kynurenine, and kynurenic acid levels were measured in 20 idiopathic PAH (IPAH) patients, 20 healthy controls, and 20 patients with chronic lung disease or metabolic syndrome without PH. Laser-dissected pulmonary arteries from IPAH
more » ... d control lungs were tested for the expression of indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO), the rate-limiting enzyme for the conversion from tryptophan to kynurenine. Acute effects of kynurenine were tested in pulmonary vascular preparations, two different models of chronic pulmonary hypertension (PH), and in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (hPASMCs). In IPAH vs. control serum, kynurenine was significantly elevated (3.6 Ϯ 0.2 vs. 2.6 Ϯ 0.1 M, P Ͻ 0.0001), and strongly associated with PH (area under the curve ϭ 0.86), but kynurenine levels were not elevated in lung disease and metabolic syndrome. Among all investigated tryptophan metabolites, kynurenine displayed the strongest correlation with mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) (: 0.770, P Ͻ 0.0001). Tryptophan was significantly decreased in IPAH lungs; however, IDO expression was not changed. In hPASMCs, kynurenine increased both cAMP and cGMP; in intrapulmonary arteries, it relaxed the preconstriction via NO/cGMP and cAMP pathways, and in two models of established PH, it acutely decreased the mPAP. Our data suggest that kynurenine elevation might be specifically associated with mPAP; kynurenine acts on hPASMCs in synergy with NO and exerts acute pulmonary vasodilatation in chronic PH models. Kynurenine might provide both a new biomarker and a new therapeutic option for PH. pulmonary hypertension; circulating metabolite; vasodilation; kynurenine; laser-capture microdissection
doi:10.1152/ajplung.00517.2016 pmid:28705908 fatcat:7q5zkqr6tnco3mgk3qbpsq6rka