INTRODUCTION: Cigarette smoking is a well-known risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Recent data suggest that vasocontractile receptor modulation could be an important factor. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is important in the particle clearance in the lungs and knock-out (KO) mice for this protein develop emphysema. SP-D is also weakly expressed in the vasculature. We aimed to investigate whether SP-D was important in the cardiovascular response to cigarette smoke exposure (CSE), by utilizing SP-D KO mice and a myograph setup.
METHODS: Wild type (WT) and SP-D KO mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) or room air for 12 weeks. The pulmonary artery, left anterior descending coronary artery, and basilar artery (BA) were isolated and mounted in wire myographs. Contractile concentration response curves to endothelin-1 and UDP were obtained.
RESULTS: CSE caused a leftward shift in the concentration response curves for endothelin-1 in the BA for both WT and SP-D KO. UDP, acting on the purinergic P2Y6 receptor, caused reduced contraction in the left descending artery and increased contraction in the BA in the CSE WT mice. SP-D KO mice displayed no smoke induced changes, but were surprisingly similar to the CSE WT.
CONCLUSION: The contractility to UDP was altered in the brain and heart vasculature of CSE mice. SP-D KO (both control and CSE) and CSE WT had similar changes in contractility compared to control WT.
IMPLICATIONS: These results show that sub-chronic smoking induces vascular changes in the WT, mainly for the purinergic P2Y6 receptor together with minor changes for the endothelin-1 receptor. SP-D KO (both control and CSE) does not show any further changes compared to CSE WT.