TRPC6, a therapeutic target for pulmonary hypertension

Pritesh P. Jain, Ning Lai, Mingmei Xiong, Jiyuan Chen, Aleksandra Babicheva, Tengteng Zhao, Sophia Parmisano, Manjia Zhao, Cole Paquin, Moreen Matti, Ryan Powers, Angela Balistrieri, Nick H. Kim, Daniela Valdez-Jasso, Patricia A. Thistlethwaite, John Y.J. Shyy, Jian Wang, Joe G.N. Garcia, Ayako Makino, Jason X.J. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a fatal and progressive disease. Sustained vasoconstriction due to pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell (PASMC) contraction and concentric arterial remodeling due partially to PASMC proliferation are the major causes for increased pulmonary vascular resistance and increased pulmonary arterial pressure in patients with precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH) including PAH and PH due to respiratory diseases or hypoxemia. We and others observed upregulation of TRPC6 channels in PASMCs from patients with PAH. A rise in cytosolic Ca2 þ concentration ([Ca2 þ ]cyt) in PASMC triggers PASMC contraction and vasoconstriction, while Ca2 þ -dependent activation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is a pivotal signaling cascade for cell proliferation and gene expression. Despite evidence supporting a pathological role of TRPC6, no selective and orally bioavailable TRPC6 antagonist has yet been developed and tested for treatment of PAH or PH. In this study, we sought to investigate whether block of receptor-operated Ca2 þ channels using a nonselective blocker of cation channels, 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB, administered intraperitoneally) and a selective blocker of TRPC6, BI-749327 (administered orally) can reverse established PH in mice. The results from the study show that intrapulmonary application of 2-APB (40 mM) or BI-749327 (3–10 mM) significantly and reversibly inhibited acute alveolar hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction. Intraperitoneal injection of 2-APB (1 mg/kg per day) significantly attenuated the development of PH and partially reversed established PH in mice. Oral gavage of BI-749327 (30 mg/kg, every day, for 2 wk) reversed established PH by 50% via regression of pulmonary vascular remodeling. Furthermore, 2-APB and BI-749327 both significantly inhibited PDGF- and serum-mediated phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR in PASMC. In summary, the receptor-operated and mechanosensitive TRPC6 channel is a good target for developing novel treatment for PAH/PH. BI-749327, a selective TRPC6 blocker, is potentially a novel and effective drug for treating PAH and PH due to respiratory diseases or hypoxemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1161-L1182
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • BI-749327
  • Calcium signaling
  • Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Transient receptor potential channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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