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Adding another dimension to a cell culture model for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare—albeit deadly—disease that affects the arteries of the lung. In PAH, abnormal growth of cells of the vascular media—or the elastic wall—of the pulmonary arteries, called pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), results in thickening of the walls. This leads to the narrowing and/or obstruction of small pulmonary arteries, thus causing increased pulmonary vascular resistance and arterial pressure—ultimately leading to right heart failure. Over the years, various drugs have been approved for PAH treatment, but the survival of PAH patients three years after diagnosis still remains at approximately 60%, which is not ideal.

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