5-Lipoxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP) immunoreactivity in lungs from patients with primary pulmonary hypertension

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jan;157(1):219-29. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.157.1.9704003.


Inflammatory infiltrates and endothelial cell proliferation have been appreciated in plexiform and concentric lesions, which characterize the vascular remodeling in primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Leukotriene production by perivascular and alveolar macrophages relies on activation of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), with translocation of the enzyme to the nuclear membrane, and association with the 5-LO activating protein (FLAP). Using immunohistochemical staining, we localized and semi-quantitatively estimated the abundance of 5-LO and FLAP in lungs obtained from patients with PPH, patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD), and normal control subjects. Expression of 5-LO and FLAP was prominent in alveolar macrophages in both the normal and PPH lungs; however, alveolar macrophages were more frequently clustered in the vicinity of remodeled blood vessel in PPH. Medium- and small-size pulmonary arteries in PPH showed more abundant FLAP expression than in control and ILD lungs. 5-LO expression in small arteries in PPH was more intense than in control and ILD patients. Endothelial cells in plexiform and concentric lesions in PPH expressed both 5-LO and FLAP. In situ hybridization confirmed the presence of 5-LO transcripts in macrophages and endothelial cells of the remodeled vessels in PPH. We propose that the overexpression of 5-LO and FLAP represents evidence for the participation of inflammation in the process of PPH vasculopathy or, alternatively, that the overabundance of the enzymes involved in generation of inflammatory mediators may themselves be related to vascular cell proliferation and cell growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Lipoxygenase-Activating Proteins
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / analysis*
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / enzymology*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / immunology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / enzymology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / enzymology*
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Pulmonary Artery / enzymology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*


  • 5-Lipoxygenase-Activating Proteins
  • ALOX5AP protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase