Role of Dynamin-Related Protein 1 (Drp1)-Mediated Mitochondrial Fission in Oxygen Sensing and Constriction of the Ductus Arteriosus

Zhigang Hong, Shelby Kutty, Peter T. Toth, Glenn Marsboom, James M. Hammel, Carolyn Chamberlain, John J. Ryan, Hannah J. Zhang, Willard W. Sharp, Erik Morrow, Kalyani Trivedi, E. Kenneth Weir, Stephen L. Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


RATIONALE:: Closure of the ductus arteriosus (DA) is essential for the transition from fetal to neonatal patterns of circulation. Initial PO2-dependent vasoconstriction causes functional DA closure within minutes. Within days a fibrogenic, proliferative mechanism causes anatomic closure. Though modulated by endothelial-derived vasodilators and constrictors, O2 sensing is intrinsic to ductal smooth muscle cells and oxygen-induced DA constriction persists in the absence of endothelium, endothelin, and cyclooxygenase mediators. O2 increases mitochondrial-derived H2O2, which constricts ductal smooth muscle cells by raising intracellular calcium and activating rho kinase. However, the mechanism by which oxygen changes mitochondrial function is unknown. OBJECTIVE:: The purpose of this study was to determine whether mitochondrial fission is crucial for O2-induced DA constriction and closure. METHODS AND RESULTS:: Using DA harvested from 30 term infants during correction of congenital heart disease, as well as DA from term rabbits, we demonstrate that mitochondrial fission is crucial for O2-induced constriction and closure. O2 rapidly (<5 minutes) causes mitochondrial fission by a cyclin-dependent kinase- mediated phosphorylation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) at serine 616. Fission triggers a metabolic shift in the ductal smooth muscle cells that activates pyruvate dehydrogenase and increases mitochondrial H2O2 production. Subsequently, fission increases complex I activity. Mitochondrial-Targeted catalase overexpression eliminates PO2-induced increases in mitochondrial- derived H2O2 and cytosolic calcium. The small molecule Drp1 inhibitor, Mdivi-1, and siDRP1 yield concordant results, inhibiting O2-induced constriction (without altering the response to phenylephrine or KCl) and preventing O2-induced increases in oxidative metabolism, cytosolic calcium, and ductal smooth muscle cells proliferation. Prolonged Drp1 inhibition reduces DA closure in a tissue culture model. CONCLUSIONS:: Mitochondrial fission is an obligatory, early step in mammalian O2 sensing and offers a promising target for modulating DA patency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-815
Number of pages14
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Mdivi-1 compound
  • green fluorescent protein
  • mitochondrial dynamics
  • oxygen sensing
  • patent ductus arteriosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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