Mas Receptor Agonist AVE0991 increases surfactant protein expression under hyperoxic conditions in human lung epithelial cells

J Lung Pulm Respir Res. 2020;7(4):85-91. Epub 2020 Nov 17.


Background: Hyperoxia in pre-term neonates is a known risk factor of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Hyperoxia is known to cause oxidative stress, inflammatory changes that leads to surfactant deactivation, and decreased surfactant expression. The previous research has shown short term exposure to hyperoxia increases surfactant protein expression but decreased expression in long term exposure. Local tissue renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with tissue injury and repair and it may play a role in BPD. Endogenous peptide angiotensin 1-7 acts on the MAS receptor. The activation of the MAS receptor was previously shown to have protective pulmonary responses. However, the effect of MAS receptor activation on surfactant proteins in hyperoxic conditions has not been tested.

Objective: To determine the effects of hyperoxia with or without MAS receptor activation on Surfactant proteins.

Methods: Human epithelial cell line A549 and human primary alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) were cultured to sub-confluence (60-75%) and treated with hyperoxia (95% oxygen) and normoxia (21% oxygen) for 72 hours with or without the MAS receptor agonist (AVE0991) in serum-free F-12 nutrient media. Cells were lysed and cell lysates were collected for western blot. The statistical analysis was done using Student-Newman-Keuls Multiple comparison test.

Results: Surfactant protein concentration increased in AVE treated group under the hyperoxic condition when compared to the control group in both A549 cells and human primary AECs. Surfactant protein was in higher concentration in AVE0991 treated cells in both hyperoxic and normoxic conditions when compared to the non-treated control group.

Conclusions: MAS receptor activation via AVE0991 causes an increase in Surfactant protein concentration in both hyperoxic and normoxic conditions. As per our experiments, hyperoxic conditions decrease the production of surfactant protein when compared to normoxic conditions. These results may reveal a novel potential drug for BPD treatment and decrease its severity.

Keywords: BPD; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; human alveolar epithelial cells; hyperoxia; local tissue renin-angiotensin system; surfactant proteins.