Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Increasing Regenerative Medical Strategies in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a complex, progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure in the lungs and restriction of flow through the pulmonary arterial system. Current PAH therapies mainly act of the vasoconstrictive component of the disease; however there is a widely accepted view that another contributor to the disease is an abnormal overgrowth of cells that line the pulmonary arteries, which ultimately decreases the space in the vessels through which blood can flow. There are currently no approved therapies to act against this abnormal “pulmonary vascular remodeling” and prevent or reverse the overgrowth of these hyperproliferative cells.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

In the past twenty years, 12 PAH targeted-therapies have been approved by the FDA. This increase in disease state awareness and in the treatment armamentarium have contributed to an increase in average survival from 2.8 years to an estimated 8-10 years. However, current treatments primarily address the vasoconstrictive component of the disease and do not address the now accepted theory of post-apoptotic overgrowth of hyperproliferative cells of the pulmonary vessels. A number of circulating stem and progenitor cells, derived from the bone marrow, have been identified that could have roles in repair of the pulmonary vascular system when interacting with the quickly, abnormally growing cells in the lung vessels. Work in this area has been named as a future research opportunity in the NHLBI-ORDR Strategic Plan for Lung Vascular Research (Erzurum S, et al. 2010).

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Basic and translational research support is needed—including high-throughput approaches such as phage display and large-scale proteomic analysis—to better understand the relationship between circulating bone marrow-derived cells, lung-resident stem and progenitor cells, and endothelial cells of the pulmonary arterial system.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Pulmonary Hyeprtension Association, Michael Gray, Katie Kroner

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Idea No. 778