Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a fatal lung disease characterised by progressive vascular remodelling, a key component of which is the proliferation and migration of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. There are currently no therapies that reverse the vascular remodelling although some therapies do alleviate some symptoms of the disease. The molecular mechanisms of PAH are not thoroughly understood, however, it has been demonstrated that the secreted glycoprotein, osteoprotegerin (OPG) is elevated in patients. In vitro, OPG induces proliferation and migration of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells and, in animal models, inhibition of OPG can prevent and reverse the disease.
Aim of this study
An academic research group, led by Dr Allan Lawrie at the University of Sheffield, UK, sought to identify the human cell surface receptors for OPG using the Retrogenix cell microarray technology.