Objective: Myocardial angiogenesis is presumed to play a role in RV adaptation to PH, though definitive evidence and functional correlations are lacking. We aimed to use definitive methods to correlate RV angiogenesis, hypertrophy, and function in a murine PH model.
Methods: Mice were exposed to CH for 21 days to induce PH and RV remodeling. We used unbiased stereology and flow cytometry to quantify angiogenesis and myocyte hypertrophy, and pressure-volume loops to measure RV function.
Results: Within seven days, RV-specific increases in total capillary length (10,576 ± 2574 cm vs. 6822 ± 1379 cm; p = 0.02), surface area (10 ± 3.3 cm(2) vs. 4.9 ± 1.5 cm(2) ; p = 0.01), and volume (0.0013 ± 0.0005 cm(3) vs. 0.0006 ± 0.0001 cm(3) ; p = 0.02) were observed, and RV EC proliferation increased nearly 10-fold. Continued exposure led to progressive RVH without additional angiogenesis. RV function was preserved, but activation of hypoxia-dependent gene expression was observed in both ventricles after 21 days.
Conclusions: Early RV remodeling in CH-PH is associated with RV angiogenesis and preserved RV function. Continued CH-PH is associated with RVH but not angiogenesis, leading to biventricular activation of hypoxia-dependent gene expression.
Keywords: angiogenesis; animal models; pulmonary hypertension; stereology.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.