Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Sepiapterin improves angiogenesis of pulmonary artery endothelial cells with in utero pulmonary hypertension by recoupling endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2011 Sep;301(3):L334-45



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-80052381931   27 Citations


Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is associated with decreased blood vessel density that contributes to increased pulmonary vascular resistance. Previous studies showed that uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) activity and increased NADPH oxidase activity resulted in marked decreases in NO bioavailability and impaired angiogenesis in PPHN. In the present study, we hypothesize that loss of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), a critical cofactor for eNOS, induces uncoupled eNOS activity and impairs angiogenesis in PPHN. Pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAEC) isolated from fetal lambs with PPHN (HTFL-PAEC) or control lambs (NFL-PAEC) were used to investigate the cellular mechanisms impairing angiogenesis in PPHN. Cellular mechanisms were examined with respect to BH4 levels, GTP-cyclohydrolase-1 (GCH-1) expression, eNOS dimer formation, and eNOS-heat shock protein 90 (hsp90) interactions under basal conditions and after sepiapterin (Sep) supplementation. Cellular levels of BH4, GCH-1 expression, and eNOS dimer formation were decreased in HTFL-PAEC compared with NFL-PAEC. Sep supplementation decreased apoptosis and increased in vitro angiogenesis in HTFL-PAEC and ex vivo pulmonary artery sprouting angiogenesis. Sep also increased cellular BH4 content, NO production, eNOS dimer formation, and eNOS-hsp90 association and decreased the superoxide formation in HTFL-PAEC. These data demonstrate that Sep improves NO production and angiogenic potential of HTFL-PAEC by recoupling eNOS activity. Increasing BH4 levels via Sep supplementation may be an important therapy for improving eNOS function and restoring angiogenesis in PPHN.

Author List

Teng RJ, Du J, Xu H, Bakhutashvili I, Eis A, Shi Y, Pritchard KA Jr, Konduri GG


Girija Ganesh Konduri MD Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kirkwood A. Pritchard PhD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Ru-Jeng Teng MD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cell Movement
Endothelium, Vascular
GTP Cyclohydrolase
HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
Infant, Newborn
Neovascularization, Physiologic
Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome
Protein Multimerization
Sheep, Domestic
jenkins-FCD Prod-480 9a4deaf152b0b06dd18151814fff2e18f6c05280