Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2024


In pulmonary hypertension (PHTN), a metabolic shift to aerobic glycolysis promotes a hyperproliferative, apoptosis-resistant phenotype in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC). Enhanced glycolysis induces extracellular acidosis, which can activate proton-sensing membrane receptors and ion channels. We previously reported activation of the proton-gated cation channel acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) contributes to the development of hypoxic PHTN. Therefore, we hypothesize that enhanced glycolysis and subsequent acidification of the PASMC extracellular microenvironment activates ASIC1a in hypoxic PHTN. We observed decreased oxygen consumption rate and increased extracellular acidification rate in PASMC from chronic hypoxia (CH)-induced PHTN rats, indicating a shift to aerobic glycolysis. Additionally, we found that intracellular alkalization and extracellular acidification occur in PASMC following CH, and in vitro hypoxia, which was prevented by inhibition of glycolysis with 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG). Inhibiting H+transport/secretion through carbonic anhydrases, Na+/H+ exchanger 1, or vacuolar-type H+-ATPase did not prevent this pH shift following hypoxia. Although the putative monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) and -4 (MCT4) inhibitor, syrosingopine, prevented the pH shift; the specific MCT1 inhibitor, AZD3965, and/or the MCT4 inhibitor, VB124, were without effect, suggesting syrosingopine targets the glycolytic pathway independent of H+ export. Furthermore, 2-DG and syrosingopine prevented enhanced ASIC1a-mediated store-operated Ca2+ entry in PASMC from CH rats. These data suggest multiple H+ transport mechanisms contribute to extracellular acidosis and inhibiting glycolysis, rather than specific H+ transporters, more effectively prevents extracellular acidification and ASIC1a activation. Together, these data reveal a novel pathologic relationship between glycolysis and ASIC1a activation in hypoxic PHTN.