Department of Medicine, Université Laval
Targeting ErbB2 by TAK-165 reverses pulmonary hypertension in vitro and in vivo
In pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), cells forming the walls of arteries in the lungs proliferate like cancer cells, narrowing the arteries and making it difficult for blood to pass through. There is also evidence of inflammation, similar to that in infections, and evidence of insulin resistance, as in diabetes.
Dr Paulin hypothesized that circulating factors could be responsible for these problems occurring in organs otherwise unconnected. She found that levels of a factor called prohibitin PHB are increased in the blood of humans and animals with pulmonary hypertension, and that PHB binds to a receptor to enhance cell proliferation and induce PHT. She will study the potential of a therapy targeting this PHB receptor, and will test the therapy in human cells and animals. The results may reveal new ways to treat pulmonary hypertension.