Inhibition of Smooth Muscle ?-Catenin Hinders Neointima Formation After Vascular Injury.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) contribute to neointima formation after vascular injury. Although ?-catenin expression is induced after injury, whether its function is essential in SMCs for neointimal growth is unknown. Moreover, although inhibitors of ?-catenin have been developed, their effects on SMC growth have not been tested. We assessed the requirement for SMC ?-catenin in short-term vascular homeostasis and in response to arterial injury and investigated the effects of ?-catenin inhibitors on vascular SMC growth. APPROACH AND RESULTS:We used an inducible, conditional genetic deletion of ?-catenin in SMCs of adult mice. Uninjured arteries from adult mice lacking SMC ?-catenin were indistinguishable from controls in terms of structure and SMC marker gene expression. After carotid artery ligation, however, vessels from mice lacking SMC ?-catenin developed smaller neointimas, with lower neointimal cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. SMCs lacking ?-catenin showed decreased mRNA expression of Mmp2, Mmp9, Sphk1, and S1pr1 (genes that promote neointima formation), higher levels of Jag1 and Gja1 (genes that inhibit neointima formation), decreased Mmp2 protein expression and secretion, and reduced cell invasion in vitro. Moreover, ?-catenin inhibitors PKF118-310 and ICG-001 limited growth of mouse and human vascular SMCs in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS:SMC ?-catenin is dispensable for maintenance of the structure and state of differentiation of uninjured adult arteries, but is required for neointima formation after vascular injury. Pharmacological ?-catenin inhibitors hinder growth of human vascular SMCs. Thus, inhibiting ?-catenin has potential as a therapy to limit SMC accumulation and vascular obstruction.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Vascular injury causes neointimal hypertrophy, which is characterized by redox-mediated matrix degradation and smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration and proliferation. We hypothesized that, as compared to the adjacent medial SMCs, neointimal SMCs produce increased superoxide via NADPH oxidase, which induces redox-sensitive intracellular signaling to activate matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9).<h4>Methods and results</h4>Two weeks after balloon injury, rat aorta developed a prominent neointima, containing increased expression of NADPH oxidase and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as compared to the medial layer. Next, SMCs were isolated from either the neointima or the media and studied in culture. Neointimal-derived SMCs exhibited increased Nox1 expression and ROS levels as compared to medial SMCs. Neointimal SMCs had higher cell growth rates than medial SMCs. ROS-dependent ERK1/2 phosphorylation was greater in neointimal SMCs. MMP-9 activity, as detected by gel zymography, was greater in neointimal SMCs under resting and stimulated conditions and was prevented by expression of an antisense to Nox1 or treatment with an ERK1/2 inhibitor.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Following vascular injury, the increased expression of Nox1 in SMCs within the neointima initiates redox-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and subsequent MMP-9 activation.
Project description:Angioplasty and stent delivery are performed to treat atherosclerotic vascular disease but often cause deleterious neointimal lesion formation. Previously, growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2), an intracellular linker protein, was shown to be essential for neointima formation and for p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). In this study, the role of vascular SMC p38alpha MAPK in neointimal development was examined.Compound transgenic mice were generated with doxycycline-inducible SMC-specific expression of dominant-negative p38alpha MAPK (DN-p38alpha). Doxycycline treatment resulted in the expression of DN-p38alpha mRNA and protein in transgenic arteries. Doxycycline-treated compound transgenic mice were resistant to neointima formation 21 days after carotid injury and showed reduced arterial p38 MAPK activation. To explore the mechanism by which p38alpha MAPK promotes neointima formation, an in vitro SMC culture system was used. Inhibition of p38alpha MAPK in cultured SMCs by treatment with SB202190 or small interfering RNA blocked platelet-derived growth factor-induced SMC proliferation, DNA replication, phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein, and induction of minichromosome maintenance protein 6.SMC p38alpha MAPK activation is required for neointima formation, perhaps because of its ability to promote retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation and minichromosome maintenance protein 6 expression.
Project description:Dedifferentiation, migration, and proliferation of resident vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are key components of neointima formation after vascular injury. Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) is suggested to be critically involved in this process, but the complex regulation of STAT3-dependent genes and the functional significance of inhibiting this pathway during the development of vascular proliferative diseases remain elusive. In this study, we demonstrate that STAT3 was activated in neointimal lesions following wire-induced injury in mice. Phosphorylation of STAT3 induced trans-activation of cyclin D1 and survivin in SMCs in vitro and in neointimal cells in vivo, thus promoting proliferation and migration of SMCs as well as reducing apoptotic cell death. WP1066, a highly potent inhibitor of STAT3 signaling, abrogated phosphorylation of STAT3 and dose-dependently inhibited the functional effects of activated STAT3 in stimulated SMCs. The local application of WP1066 via a thermosensitive pluronic F-127 gel around the dilated arteries significantly inhibited proliferation of neointimal cells and decreased the neointimal lesion size at 3 weeks after injury. Even though WP1066 application attenuated the injury-induced up-regulation of the chemokine RANTES at 6 h after injury, there was no significant effect on the accumulation of circulating cells at 1 week after injury. In conclusion, these data identify STAT3 as a key molecule for the proliferative response of SMC and neointima formation. Moreover, inhibition of STAT3 by the potent and specific compound WP1066 might represent a novel and attractive approach for the local treatment of vascular proliferative diseases.
Project description:Interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8), a member of the IRF transcription factor family, was recently implicated in vascular diseases. In the present study, using the mouse left carotid artery wire injury model, we unexpectedly observed that the expression of IRF8 was greatly enhanced in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) by injury. Compared with the wild-type controls, IRF8 global knockout mice exhibited reduced neointimal lesions and maintained SMC marker gene expression. We further generated SMC-specific IRF8 transgenic mice using an SM22?-driven IRF8 plasmid construct. In contrast to the knockout mice, mice with SMC-overexpressing IRF8 exhibited a synthetic phenotype and enhanced neointima formation. Mechanistically, IRF8 inhibited SMC marker gene expression through regulating serum response factor (SRF) transactivation in a myocardin-dependent manner. Furthermore, a coimmunoprecipitation assay indicated a direct interaction of IRF8 with myocardin, in which a specific region of myocardin was essential for recruiting acetyltransferase p300. Altogether, IRF8 is crucial in modulating SMC phenotype switching and neointima formation in response to vascular injury via direct interaction with the SRF/myocardin complex.
Project description:The ubiquitous enzyme protein kinase C (PKC) has been linked to the pathogenesis of vascular injury, but the cell-specific and discrete functions of the betaII isoform have yet to be discovered in this setting. Our previous findings demonstrated significantly increased PKCbetaII in the membrane fraction of injured femoral arteries in wild type (WT) mice and revealed reduction of neointimal expansion in PKCbeta(-/-) mice after acute vascular injury. As PKCbeta(-/-) mice are globally devoid of PKCbeta, we established novel transgenic (Tg) mice to test the hypothesis that the action of PKCbetaII specifically in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) mediates the formation of neointimal lesions in response to arterial injury.Tg mice expressing SM22alpha promoter-targeted mouse carboxyl-terminal deletion mutant PKCbetaII were produced using standard techniques, subjected to femoral artery injury and compared with littermate controls. Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) were isolated from wild type (WT) and Tg mice and exposed to a prototypic stimulus, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Multiple strategies were employed in vivo and in vitro to examine the molecular mechanisms underlying the specific effects of SMC PKCbetaII in neointimal expansion.In vivo and in vitro analyses demonstrated that PKCbetaII activity in SMCs was critical for neointimal expansion in response to arterial injury, at least in part via regulation of ERK1/2, Egr-1 and induction of MMP-9.These data identify the SMC-specific regulatory role of PKCbetaII in neointimal expansion in response to acute arterial injury, and suggest that targeted inactivation of PKCbetaII may be beneficial in limiting restenosis via suppression of the neointima-mediating effects of Egr-1 and MMP-9.
Project description:Excessive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) remains a significant cause of in-stent restenosis. Integrins, which are heterodimeric transmembrane receptors, play a crucial role in SMC biology by binding to the extracellular matrix protein with the actin cytoskeleton within the SMC. Integrin α9 plays an important role in cell motility and autoimmune diseases; however, its role in SMC biology and remodeling remains unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that stimulated human coronary SMCs upregulate α9 expression. Targeting α9 in stimulated human coronary SMCs, using anti-integrin α9 antibody, suppresses synthetic phenotype and inhibits SMC proliferation and migration. To provide definitive evidence, we generated an SMC-specific α9-deficient mouse strain. Genetic ablation of α9 in SMCs suppressed synthetic phenotype and reduced proliferation and migration in vitro. Mechanistically, suppressed synthetic phenotype and reduced proliferation were associated with decreased focal adhesion kinase/steroid receptor coactivator signaling and downstream targets, including phosphorylated ERK, p38 MAPK, glycogen synthase kinase 3β, and nuclear β-catenin, with reduced transcriptional activation of β-catenin target genes. Following vascular injury, SMC-specific α9-deficient mice or wild-type mice treated with murine anti-integrin α9 antibody exhibited reduced injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia at day 28 by limiting SMC migration and proliferation. Our findings suggest that integrin α9 regulates SMC biology, suggesting its potential therapeutic application in vascular remodeling.
Project description:Vascular remodeling because of smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation is a common process occurring in several vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, post-transplant vasculopathy, restenosis after angioplasty, etc. The molecular mechanism underlying SMC proliferation, however, is not completely understood. The objective of this study is to determine the role and mechanism of Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) in vascular remodeling and SMC proliferation.Platelet-derived growth factor-BB, an SMC mitogen, induces JAK3 expression and phosphorylation while stimulating SMC proliferation. Janex-1, a specific inhibitor of JAK3, or knockdown of JAK3 by short hairpin RNA, inhibits the SMC proliferation. Conversely, ectopic expression of JAK3 promotes SMC proliferation. Mechanistically, JAK3 promotes the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase in SMC, 2 signaling pathways known to be critical for SMC proliferation and vascular remodeling. Blockade of these 2 signaling pathways by their inhibitors impeded the JAK3-mediated SMC proliferation. In vivo, knockdown of JAK3 attenuates injury-induced neointima formation with attenuated neointimal SMC proliferation. Knockdown of JAK3 also induces neointimal SMC apoptosis in rat carotid artery balloon injury model.Our results demonstrate that JAK3 mediates SMC proliferation and survival during injury-induced vascular remodeling, which provides a potential therapeutic target for preventing neointimal hyperplasia in proliferative vascular diseases.
Project description:Vascular remodeling as a result of smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and neointima formation is a major medical challenge in cardiovascular intervention. However, antineointima drugs often indistinguishably block re-endothelialization, an essential step toward successful vascular repair, because of their nonspecific effect on endothelial cells (ECs). The objective of this study is to identify a therapeutic target that differentially regulates SMC and EC proliferation.Using both rat balloon injury and mouse wire injury models, we identified CTP synthase 1 (CTPS1) as one of the potential targets that may be used for developing therapeutics for treating neointima-related disorders. CTPS1 was induced in proliferative SMCs in vitro and neointima SMCs in vivo. Blockade of CTPS1 expression by small hairpin RNA or activity by cyclopentenyl cytosine suppressed SMC proliferation and neointima formation. Surprisingly, cyclopentenyl cytosine had much less effect on EC proliferation. Of importance, blockade of CTPS1 in vivo sustained the re-endothelialization as a result of induction of CTP synthesis salvage pathway enzymes nucleoside-diphosphate kinase A and B in ECs. Diphosphate kinase B seemed to preserve EC proliferation via use of extracellular cytidine to synthesize CTP. Indeed, blockade of both CTPS1 and diphosphate kinase B suppressed EC proliferation in vitro and the re-endothelialization in vivo.Our study uncovered a fundamental difference in CTP biosynthesis between SMCs and ECs during vascular remodeling, which provided a novel strategy by using cyclopentenyl cytosine or other CTPS1 inhibitors to selectively block SMC proliferation without disturbing or even promoting re-endothelialization for effective vascular repair after injury.
Project description:The de-differentiation and proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are widely accepted as the major contributor to vascular remodeling. However, recent studies indicate that vascular stem cells (VSCs) also play an important role, but their relative contribution remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used genetic lineage tracing approach to further investigate the contribution of SMCs and VSCs to neointimal thickening in response to endothelium denudation injury or artery ligation. In vitro and in vivo analysis of MYH11-cre/Rosa-loxP-RFP mouse artery showed that SMCs proliferated at a much slower rate than non-SMCs. Upon denudation or ligation injury, two distinct types of neointima were identified: Type-I neointimal cells mainly involved SMCs, while Type II mainly involved non-SMCs. Using Sox10-cre/Rosa-loxP-LacZ mice, we found that Sox10+ cells were one of the cell sources in neointima. In addition, lineage tracing using Tie2-cre/Rosa-LoxP-RFP showed that endothelial cells also contributed to the neointimal formation, but rarely transdifferentiated into mesenchymal lineages. These results provide a novel insight into the contribution of vascular cells to neointima formation, and have significant impact on the development of more effective therapies that target specific vascular cell types.
Project description:Endovascular interventions performed for atherosclerotic lesions trigger excessive vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation leading to intimal hyperplasia. Our previous studies show that following endovascular injury, elevated TGF-?/Smad3 promotes SMC proliferation and intimal hyperplasia. Furthermore in cultured SMCs, elevated TGF-?/Smad3 increases the expression of several Wnt genes. Here we investigate a crosstalk between TGF-?/Smad3 and Wnt/?-catenin signaling and its role in SMC proliferation.To mimic TGF-?/Smad3 up-regulation in vivo, rat aortic SMCs were treated with Smad3-expressing adenovirus (AdSmad3) or AdGFP control followed by stimulation with TGF-?1 (or solvent). AdSmad3/TGF-? treatment up-regulated Wnt2b, Wnt4, Wnt5a, Wnt9a, and Wnt11 (confirmed by qRT-PCR and ELISA), and also increased ?-catenin protein as detected by Western blotting. Blocking Wnt signaling using a Frizzled receptor inhibitor (Niclosamide) abolished TGF-?/Smad3-induced ?-catenin stabilization. Increasing ?-catenin through degradation inhibition (using SKL2001) or by adenoviral expression enhanced SMC proliferation. Furthermore, application of recombinant Wnt2b, Wnt4, Wnt5a, or Wnt9a, but not Wnt11, stabilized ?-catenin and stimulated SMC proliferation as well. In addition, increased ?-catenin was found in the neointima of injured rat carotid artery where TGF-? and Smad3 are known to be up-regulated.These results suggest a novel mechanism whereby elevated TGF-?/Smad3 stimulates the secretion of canonical Wnts which in turn enhances SMC proliferation through ?-catenin stabilization. This crosstalk between TGF-?/Smad3 and Wnt/?-catenin canonical pathways provides new insights into the pathophysiology of vascular SMCs linked to intimal hyperplasia.