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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2546402, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2546402
Research Article

Baicalin Attenuates Hypoxia-Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension to Improve Hypoxic Cor Pulmonale by Reducing the Activity of the p38 MAPK Signaling Pathway and MMP-9

1Division of Respiratory Medicine, Taizhou Enze Medical Center Enze Hospital, Taizhou, Zhejiang 318000, China
2Division of Equipment, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, China
3Division of Intensive Care Unit, Ningbo Medical Center Lihuili Eastern Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315040, China
4Division of Pulmonary Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University and Key Laboratory of Heart and Lung, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, China

Received 29 April 2016; Revised 7 August 2016; Accepted 11 August 2016

Academic Editor: Ki-Wan Oh

Copyright © 2016 Shuangquan Yan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Baicalin has a protective effect on hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats, but the mechanism of this effect remains unclear. Thus, investigating the potential mechanism of this effect was the aim of the present study. Model rats that display hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and cor pulmonale under control conditions were successfully generated. We measured a series of indicators to observe the levels of pulmonary arterial hypertension, pulmonary arteriole remodeling, and right ventricular remodeling. We assessed the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the pulmonary arteriole walls and pulmonary tissue homogenates using immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses, respectively. The matrix metalloproteinase- (MMP-) 9 protein and mRNA levels in the pulmonary arteriole walls were measured using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Our results demonstrated that baicalin not only reduced p38 MAPK activation in both the pulmonary arteriole walls and tissue homogenates but also downregulated the protein and mRNA expression levels of MMP-9 in the pulmonary arteriole walls. This downregulation was accompanied by the attenuation of pulmonary hypertension, arteriole remodeling, and right ventricular remodeling. These results suggest that baicalin may attenuate pulmonary hypertension and cor pulmonale, which are induced by chronic hypoxia, by downregulating the p38 MAPK/MMP-9 pathway.