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Canagliflozin ameliorates hypobaric hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension by inhibiting pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a disease with a high mortality and few treatment options to prevent the development of pulmonary vessel remodeling, pulmonary vascular resistance, and right ventricular failure. Canagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, is originally used in diabetes patients which could assist the glucose excretion and decrease blood glucose. Recently, a few studies have reported the protective effect of SGLT2 inhibitor on monocrotaline-induced PAH. However, the effects of canagliflozin on hypobaric hypoxia-induced PAH as well as its mechanism still unclear. In this study, we used hypobaric hypoxia-induced PAH mice model to demonstrate if canagliflozin could alleviate PAH and prevent pulmonary vessel remodeling. We found that daily canagliflozin administration significantly improved survival in mice with hypobaric hypoxia-induced PAH compared to vehicle control. Canagliflozin treatment significantly reduced right ventricular systolic pressure and increased pulmonary acceleration time determined by hemodynamic assessments. Canagliflozin significantly reduced medial wall thickening and decreased muscularization of pulmonary arterioles compared to vehicle treated mice. In addition, canagliflozin inhibited the proliferation and migration of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells through suppressing glycolysis and reactivating AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway under hypoxia condition. In summary, our findings suggest that canagliflozin is sufficient to inhibit pulmonary arterial remodeling which is a potential therapeutic strategy for PAH treatment.

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