17β-estradiol (E2) exerts complex and context-dependent effects in pulmonary hypertension. In hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (HPH), E2 attenuates lung vascular remodeling through estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent effects; however, ER target genes in the hypoxic lung remain unknown. In order to identify the genome regulated by the E2-ER axis in the hypoxic lung, we performed a microarray analysis in lungs from HPH rats treated with E2 (75mcg/kg/day) ± ER-antagonist ICI182,780 (3mg/kg/day). Untreated HPH rats and normoxic rats served as controls. Using a false discovery rate of 10%, we identified a significantly differentially regulated genome in E2-treated versus untreated hypoxia rats. Genes most upregulated by E2 encoded matrix metalloproteinase 8, S100 calcium binding protein A8, and IgA Fc receptor; genes most downregulated by E2 encoded olfactory receptor 63, secreted frizzled-related protein 2, and thrombospondin 2. Several genes affected by E2 changed in the opposite direction after ICI182,780 cotreatment, indicating an ER-regulated genome in HPH lungs. The bone morphogenetic protein antagonist Grem1 (gremlin 1) was upregulated by hypoxia, but found to be among the most downregulated genes after E2 treatment. Gremlin 1 protein was reduced in E2-treated versus untreated hypoxic animals, and ER-blockade abolished the inhibitory effect of E2 on Grem1 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, E2 ER-dependently regulates several genes involved in proliferative and inflammatory processes during hypoxia. Gremlin 1 is a novel target of the E2-ER axis in HPH. Understanding the mechanisms of E2 gene regulation in HPH may allow for selectively harnessing beneficial transcriptional activities of E2 for therapeutic purposes.
- Gremlin 1
- Pulmonary vasculature
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine