Hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery adventitial remodeling and neovascularization: Contribution of progenitor cells

Neil J. Davie, Joseph T. Crossno, Maria G. Frid, Stephen E. Hofmeister, John T. Reeves, Dallas M. Hyde, Todd C. Carpenter, Jacqueline A. Brunetti, Ian K. McNiece, Kurt R. Stenmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


Information is rapidly emerging regarding the important role of the arterial vasa vasorum in a variety of systemic vascular diseases. In addition, increasing evidence suggests that progenitor cells of bone marrow (BM) origin may contribute to postnatal neovascularization and/or vascular wall thickening that is characteristic in some forms of systemic vascular disease. Little is known regarding postnatal vasa formation and the role of BM-derived progenitor cells in the setting of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We sought to determine the effects of chronic hypoxia on the density of vasa vasorum in the pulmonary artery and to evaluate if BM-derived progenitor cells contribute to the increased vessel wall mass in a bovine model of hypoxia-induced PH. Quantitative morphometric analyses of lung tissue from normoxic and hypoxic calves revealed that hypoxia results in a dramatic expansion of the pulmonary artery adventitial vasa vasorum. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that cells expressing the transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor for stem cell factor, c-kit, are mobilized from the BM in the circulation in response to hypoxia. Immunohistochemistry revealed an increase in the expression of c-kit+ cells together with vascular endothelial growth factor, fibronectin, and thrombin in the hypoxia-induced remodeled pulmonary artery vessel wall. Circulating mononuclear cells isolated from neonatal calves exposed to hypoxia were found to differentiate into endothelial and smooth muscle cell phenotypes depending on culture conditions. From these observations, we suggest that the vasa vasorum and circulating progenitor cells could be involved in vessel wall thickening in the setting of hypoxia-induced PH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 30-4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Bone marrow
  • Vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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