Acute mechanical stretch promotes eNOS activation in venous endothelial cells mainly via PKA and Akt pathways.
ABSTRACT: In the vasculature, physiological levels of nitric oxide (NO) protect against various stressors, including mechanical stretch. While endothelial NO production in response to various stimuli has been studied extensively, the precise mechanism underlying stretch-induced NO production in venous endothelial cells remains incompletely understood. Using a model of continuous cellular stretch, we found that stretch promoted phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) at Ser¹¹??, Ser?³³ and Ser?¹? and NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Although stretch activated the kinases AMPK?, PKA, Akt, and ERK1/2, stretch-induced eNOS activation was only inhibited by kinase-specific inhibitors of PKA and PI3K/Akt, but not of AMPK? and Erk1/2. Similar results were obtained with knockdown by shRNAs targeting the PKA and Akt genes. Furthermore, inhibition of PKA preferentially attenuated eNOS activation in the early phase, while inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway reduced eNOS activation in the late phase, suggesting that the PKA and PI3K/Akt pathways play distinct roles in a time-dependent manner. Finally, we investigated the role of these pathways in stretch-induced endothelial exocytosis and leukocyte adhesion. Interestingly, we found that inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway increased stretch-induced Weibel-Palade body exocytosis and leukocyte adhesion, while inhibition of the PKA pathway had the opposite effects, suggesting that the exocytosis-promoting effect of PKA overwhelms the inhibitory effect of PKA-mediated NO production. Taken together, the results suggest that PKA and Akt are important regulators of eNOS activation in venous endothelial cells under mechanical stretch, while playing different roles in the regulation of stretch-induced endothelial exocytosis and leukocyte adhesion.
Project description:Regulated endothelial exocytosis of Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs), the first stage in leukocyte trafficking, plays a pivotal role in inflammation and injury. Acute mechanical stretch has been closely associated with vascular inflammation, although the precise mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that hypertensive stretch regulates the exocytosis of WPBs of endothelial cells (ECs) through VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling pathways. Stretch triggers a rapid release (within minutes) of von Willebrand factor and interleukin-8 from WPBs in cultured human ECs, promoting the interaction between leukocytes and ECs through the translocation of P-selectin to the cell membrane. We further show that hypertensive stretch significantly induces P-selectin translocation of intact ECs and enhances leukocyte adhesion both ex vivo and in vivo. Stretch-induced endothelial exocytosis is mediated via a VEGFR2/PLC?1/calcium pathway. Interestingly, stretch also induces a negative feedback via a VEGFR2/Akt/nitric oxide pathway. Such dual effects are confirmed using pharmacological and genetic approaches in carotid artery segments, as well as in acute hypertensive mouse models. These studies reveal mechanical stretch as a potent agonist for endothelial exocytosis, which is modulated by VEGFR2 signaling. Thus, VEGFR2 signaling pathways may represent novel therapeutic targets in limiting hypertensive stretch-related inflammation.
Project description:Urocortin 2 (Ucn2) is a cardioactive peptide exhibiting beneficial effects in normal and failing heart. In cardiomyocytes, it elicits cAMP- and Ca(2+)-dependent positive inotropic and lusitropic effects. We tested the hypothesis that, in addition, Ucn2 activates cardiac nitric oxide (NO) signaling and elucidated the underlying signaling pathways and mechanisms. In isolated rabbit ventricular myocytes, Ucn2 caused concentration- and time-dependent increases in phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473, Thr308), endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) (Ser1177), and ERK1/2 (Thr202/Tyr204). ERK1/2 phosphorylation, but not Akt and eNOS phosphorylation, was suppressed by inhibition of MEK1/2. Increased Akt phosphorylation resulted in increased Akt kinase activity and was mediated by corticotropin-releasing factor 2 (CRF2) receptors (astressin-2B sensitive). Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) diminished both Akt as well as eNOS phosphorylation mediated by Ucn2. Inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) reduced Ucn2-induced phosphorylation of eNOS but did not affect the increase in phosphorylation of Akt. Conversely, direct receptor-independent elevation of cAMP via forskolin increased phosphorylation of eNOS but not of Akt. Ucn2 increased intracellular NO concentration ([NO]i), [cGMP], [cAMP], and cell shortening. Inhibition of eNOS suppressed the increases in [NO]i and cell shortening. When both PI3K-Akt and cAMP-PKA signaling were inhibited, the Ucn2-induced increases in [NO]i and cell shortening were attenuated. Thus, in rabbit ventricular myocytes, Ucn2 causes activation of cAMP-PKA, PI3K-Akt, and MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling. The MEK1/2-ERK1/2 pathway is not required for stimulation of NO signaling in these cells. The other two pathways, cAMP-PKA and PI3K-Akt, converge on eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 and result in pronounced and sustained cellular NO production with subsequent stimulation of cGMP signaling.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>The role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)/NO signalling is well documented in late ischaemic preconditioning (IPC); however, the role of eNOS and its activation in early IPC remains controversial. This study investigates the role of eNOS in early IPC and the signalling pathways and molecular interactions that regulate eNOS activation during early IPC.<h4>Methods and results</h4>Rat hearts were subjected to 30-min global ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R) with or without IPC (three cycles 5-min I and 5-min R) in the presence or absence of the NOS inhibitor l-NAME, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 (LY), and protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89 during IPC induction or prior endothelial permeablization. IPC improved post-ischaemic contractile function and reduced infarction compared with I/R with this being abrogated by l-NAME or endothelial permeablization. eNOS(Ser1176), Akt(Ser473), and PKA(Thr197) phosphorylation was increased following IPC. I/R decreased eNOS(Ser1176) phosphorylation, whereas IPC increased it. Mass spectroscopy confirmed eNOS(Ser1176) phosphorylation and quantitative Western blots showed ?24% modification of eNOS(Ser1176) following IPC. Immunoprecipitation demonstrated eNOS, Akt, and PKA complexation. Immunohistology showed IPC-induced Akt and PKA phosphorylation in cardiomyocytes and endothelium. With eNOS activation, IPC increased NO production as measured by electron paramagnetic resonance spin trapping and fluorescence microscopy. LY or H89 not only decreased Akt(Ser473) or PKA(Thr197) phosphorylation, respectively, but also abolished IPC-induced preservation of eNOS and eNOS(Ser1176) phosphorylation as well as cardioprotection.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Thus, Akt- and PKA-mediated eNOS activation, with phosphorylation near the C-terminus, is critical for early IPC-induced cardioprotection, with eNOS-derived NO from the endothelium serving a critical role.
Project description:During pregnancy, VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) regulates in part endothelial angiogenesis and vasodilation. In the present study we examine the relative roles of VEGFRs (VEGF receptors) and associated signalling pathways mediating the effects of VEGF(165) on eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) activation. Despite equal expression levels of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in UAECs (uterine artery endothelial cells) from NP (non-pregnant) and P (pregnant) sheep, VEGF(165) activates eNOS at a greater level in P- compared with NP-UAEC, independently of Akt activation. The selective VEGFR-1 agonist PlGF (placental growth factor)-1 elicits only a modest activation of eNOS in P-UAECs compared with VEGF(165), whereas the VEGFR-2 kinase inhibitor blocks VEGF(165)-stimulated eNOS activation, suggesting VEGF(165) predominantly activates eNOS via VEGFR-2. Although VEGF(165) also activates ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase)-1/2, this is not necessary for eNOS activation since U0126 blocks ERK-1/2 phosphorylation, but not eNOS activation, and the VEGFR-2 kinase inhibitor inhibits eNOS activation, but not ERK-1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, the inability of PlGF to activate ERK-1/2 and the ability of the VEGFR-2 selective agonist VEGF-E to activate ERK-1/2 and eNOS suggests again that both eNOS and ERK-1/2 activation occur predominantly via VEGFR-2. The lack of VEGF(165)-stimulated Akt phosphorylation is consistent with a lack of robust phosphorylation of Ser(1179)-eNOS. Although VEGF(165)-stimulated eNOS phosphorylation is observed at Ser(617) and Ser(635), pregnancy does not significantly alter this response. Our finding that VEGF(165) activation of eNOS is completely inhibited by wortmannin but not LY294002 implies a downstream kinase, possibly a wortmannin-selective PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase), is acting between the VEGFR-2 and eNOS independently of Akt.
Project description:As a gatekeeper of leukocyte trafficking the vasculature fulfills an essential immune function. We have recently shown that paracellular transendothelial lymphocyte migration is controlled by intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1)-mediated vascular endothelial cadherin (VEC) phosphorylation [Turowski et al., J. Cell Sci. 121, 29-37 (2008)]. Here we show that endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is a critical regulator of this pathway. ICAM-1 stimulated eNOS by a mechanism that was clearly distinct from that utilized by insulin. In particular, phosphorylation of eNOS on S1177 in response to ICAM-1 activation was regulated by src family protein kinase, rho GTPase, Ca(2+), CaMKK, and AMPK, but not Akt/PI3K. Functional neutralization of any component of this pathway or its downstream effector guanylyl cyclase significantly reduced lymphocyte diapedesis across the endothelial monolayer. In turn, activation of NO signaling promoted lymphocyte transmigration. The eNOS signaling pathway was required for T-cell transmigration across primary rat and human microvascular endothelial cells and also when shear flow was applied, suggesting that this pathway is ubiquitously used. These data reveal a novel and essential role of eNOS in basic immune function and provide a key link in the molecular network governing endothelial cell compliance to diapedesis.
Project description:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive sphingolipid, is recognized as a critical regulator in physiological and pathophysiological processes of atherosclerosis (AS). However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. As the precursor cells of endothelial cells (ECs), endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can prevent AS development through repairing endothelial monolayer impaired by proatherogenic factors. The present study investigated the effects of S1P on the biological features of mouse bone marrow-derived EPCs and the underlying mechanism. The results showed that S1P improved cell viability, adhesion, and nitric oxide (NO) release of EPCs in a bell-shaped manner, and migration and tube formation dose-dependently. The aforementioned beneficial effects of S1P on EPCs could be inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor of LY294002 and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor of N'-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME). The inhibitor of LY294002 inhibited S1P-stimulated activation of phosphorylated protein kinase B (AKT) (p-AKT) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) (p-eNOS), and down-regulated the level of eNOS significantly. The results suggest that S1P improves the biological features of EPCs partially through PI3K/AKT/eNOS/NO signaling pathway.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is critical for the control of blood pressure by the CNS. Recently, direct renin inhibitors were approved as antihypertensive agents. However, the signalling mechanism of renin, which regulates blood pressure in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) remains unclear. Here we have investigated the signalling pathways involved in renin-mediated blood pressure regulation, at the NTS.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Depressor responses to renin microinjected into the NTS of Wistar-Kyoto rats were elicited in the absence and presence of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-specific inhibitor, N(5)-(-iminoethyl)-L-ornithine, Akt inhibitor IV and LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor and GP antagonist-2A [G(q) inhibitor]. Lisinopril (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor), losartan, valsartan (angiotensin AT(1) receptor antagonists), D-Ala7-Ang-(1-7) (angiotensin-(1-7) receptor antagonist) were used to study the involvement of RAS on renin-induced depressor effects.<h4>Key results</h4>Microinjection of renin into the NTS produced a prominent depressor effect and increased NO production. Pretreatment with G(q) -PI3K-Akt-eNOS pathway-specific inhibitors significantly attenuated the depressor response evoked by renin. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemical studies further showed that inhibition of PI3K significantly blocked renin-induced eNOS-Ser ¹¹? and Akt-Ser??³ phosphorylation in situ. In addition, pre-treatment of the NTS with RAS inhibitors attenuated the vasodepressor effects evoked by renin. Microinjection of renin also increased Ras activation in the NTS.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>Taken together, these results suggest renin modulated blood pressure at the NTS by AT? and Mas receptor-mediated activation of G(q) and Ras to evoke PI3K-Akt-eNOS signalling.
Project description:Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and PA inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) are elevated in acute lung injury, which is characterized by a loss of endothelial barrier function and the development of pulmonary edema. Two-chain uPA and uPA-PAI-1 complexes (1-20 nM) increased the permeability of monolayers of human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) in vitro and lung permeability in vivo. The effects of uPA-PAI-1 were abrogated by the nitric-oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME (N(D)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester). Two-chain uPA (1-20 nM) and uPA-PAI-1 induced phosphorylation of endothelial NOS-Ser(1177) in PMVECs, which was followed by generation of NO and the nitrosylation and dissociation of ?-catenin from VE-cadherin. uPA-induced phosphorylation of eNOS was decreased by anti-low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP) antibody and an LRP antagonist, receptor-associated protein (RAP), and when binding to the uPA receptor was blocked by the isolated growth factor-like domain of uPA. uPA-induced phosphorylation of eNOS was also inhibited by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, myristoylated PKI, but was not dependent on PI3K-Akt signaling. LRP blockade and inhibition of PKA prevented uPA- and uPA-PAI-1-induced permeability of PMVEC monolayers in vitro and uPA-induced lung permeability in vivo. These studies identify a novel pathway involved in regulating PMVEC permeability and suggest the utility of uPA-based approaches that attenuate untoward permeability following acute lung injury while preserving its salutary effects on fibrinolysis and airway remodeling.
Project description:Hyaluronan (HA) in the endothelial glycocalyx serves as a mechanotransducer for high-shear-stress-stimulated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation and nitric oxide (NO) production. Low shear stress (LSS) has been shown to contribute to endothelial inflammation and atherosclerosis by impairing the barrier and mechanotransduction properties of the glycocalyx. Here we focus on the possible role of hyaluronidase 2 (HYAL2) in LSS-induced glycocalyx impairment and the resulting alterations in eNOS phosphorylation and NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We show that LSS strongly activates HYAL2 to degrade HA in the glycocalyx. The dephosphorylation of eNOS-Ser-633 under LSS was triggered after HA degradation by hyaluronidase and prevented by repairing the glycocalyx with high-molecular weight hyaluronan. Knocking down HYAL2 in HUVECs protected against HA degradation in the glycocalyx by inhibiting the expression and activity of HYAL2 and further blocked the dephosphorylation of eNOS-Ser-633 and the decrease in NO production in response to LSS. The LSS-induced dephosphorylation of PKA was completely abrogated in HYAL2 siRNA-transfected HUVECs. The LSS-induced dephosphorylation of eNOS-Ser-633 was also reversed by the PKA activator 8-Br-cAMP. We thus suggest that LSS inhibits eNOS-Ser-633 phosphorylation and, at least partially, NO production by activating HYAL2 to degrade HA in the glycocalyx.
Project description:1. The present study was designed to examine the possible role of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in regulation of leukocyte - endothelial cell interactions in the absence of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), using intravital microscopy of the cremasteric microcirculation of eNOS(-/-) mice. 2. Baseline leukocyte rolling and adhesion revealed no differences between wild-type and eNOS(-/-) mice in either the cremasteric or intestinal microcirculations. 3. Superfusion with L-NAME (100 microM) caused a progressive and significant increase in leukocyte adhesion in both wild-type and eNOS(-/-) mice, without detecting differences between the two strains of mice. 4. Superfusion with 7-nitroindazole (100 microM), a selective inhibitor of nNOS, had no effect on leukocyte adhesion in wild-type animals. However, it increased leukocyte adhesion significantly in eNOS(-/-) mice, which was reversed by systemic L-arginine pre-administration. 5. Stimulation of the microvasculature with H(2)O(2) (100 microM) induced a transient elevation in leukocyte rolling in wild-type mice. Conversely, the effect persisted during the entire 60 min of experimental protocol in eNOS(-/-) mice either with or without 7-nitroindazole. 6. Semi-quantitative analysis by RT - PCR of the mRNA for nNOS levels in eNOS(-/-) and wild-type animals, showed increased expression of nNOS in both brain and skeletal muscle of eNOS(-/-) mice. 7. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions are predominantly modulated by eNOS isoform in postcapillary venules of normal mice, whereas nNOS appears to assume the same role in eNOS(-/-) mice. Interestingly, unlike eNOS there was insufficient NO produced by nNOS to overcome leukocyte recruitment elicited by oxidative stress, suggesting that nNOS cannot completely compensate for eNOS.