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11 May 2015 by Ludwig Boltzmann

PH UP2DATE 2015: 2 awards for our institute !

Munich: March 13th, 2015.

Our colleagues Valentina Biasin and Slaven Crnkovic won the PH UP2DATE Award 2015. Each year, 3  PH UP2DATE awards are granted  to young scientists for basic research in the pulmonary hypertenison field.

 “The topic of my poster was the identification of a novel protease, meprin ß, involved in remodelling of the vessel wall. Meprin ß regulates the collagen maturation and therefore, the collagen deposition in the vessel wall. Moreover, meprin ß also modulates the smooth muscle cells proliferation.” explains Valentina Biasin. And further: “The clinical relevance of our findings was confirmed in human patients. Here, the meprin ß expression is elevated which was published for the first time in the Journal of Pathology in 2014.”


Photos: Prof. Ralph Schermuly, UKGM Giessen and Dr. Yorn Schmidt (left), AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG, Germany awarded the PH2UPDATE prices to our colleagues Dr. Valentina Biasin and Dr. Slaven Crnkovic. Copyright: Pfizer.

Slaven Crnkovic received the award for his work “NPY/Y₁receptor-mediated vasoconstrictory and proliferative effects in pulmonary hypertension” published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2014.  He found out that, on a functional level, neuropeptide Y (NPY) acutely increased intracellular calcium levels and enhanced vasoconstriction of lung vessels preconstricted with adrenaline. Furthermore, NPY stimulated proliferation of human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells and activated p38 and PKD pathways. Correspondingly, higher phosphorylation of PKD was observed in remodelled vessels from PH patients. The selective Y₁ receptor antagonist, BIBO 3304, concentration-dependently inhibited vasoconstrictive and proliferative effects of NPY. “We conclude that NPY and Y₁ receptor are possible mediators of both vasoconstriction and pulmonary vascular remodelling in PH.” says Dr. Crnkovic.