Stimulation of HIF-1α, HIF-2α, and VEGF by prolyl 4-hydroxylase inhibition in human lung endothelial and epithelial cells

Academic Article


  • Diminished alveolar and vascular development is characteristic of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) affecting many preterm newborns. Hypoxia promotes angiogenic responses in developing lung via, for example, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). To determine if prolyl 4-hydroxylase (PHD) inhibition could augment hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and expression of angiogenic proteins essential for lung development, HIF-1α and -2α proteins were assessed in human developing and adult lung microvascular endothelial cells and alveolar epithelial-like cells treated with either the HIF-PHD-selective inhibitor PHI-1 or the nonselective PHD inhibitors dimethyloxaloylglycine (DMOG) and deferoxamine (DFO). PHI-1 stimulated HIF-1α and -2α equally or more effectively than did DMOG or DFO, enhanced VEGF release, and elevated glucose consumption, whereas it was considerably less cytotoxic than DMOG or DFO. Moreover, VEGF receptor Flt-1 levels increased, whereas KDR/Flk-1 decreased. PHI-1 treatment also increased PHD-2, but not PHD-1 or -3, protein. These results provide proof of principle that HIF stimulation and modulation of HIF-regulated angiogenic proteins through PHI-1 treatment are feasible, effective, and nontoxic in human lung cells, suggesting the use of PHI-1 to enhance angiogenesis and lung growth in evolving BPD. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Asikainen TM; Ahmad A; Schneider BK; Ho WB; Arend M; Brenner M; Günzler V; White CW
  • Start Page

  • 1002
  • End Page

  • 1013
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 8