Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has recently emerged as an attractive and novel target for the regulation of vascular smooth muscle contraction. The present study investigated the vasodilatory effects of α-lipoic acid (α-LA) and the possible mechanism of its action on aortic rings from Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).
Aortae were removed from WKY and SHR, and contractile responses to acetylcholine and α-LA studied in organ chamber. Phosphorylated AMPK (pAMPK), phosphorylated Peutz-Jeghers syndrome kinase LKB1 (pLKB1) and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKK) protein level were measured in SHR, WKY, and aortic smooth muscle (A10) cells.
α-LA (1-500 µmol/l) produced a concentration-dependent relaxation of precontracted aortic rings from 8- and 16-week-old SHR, but not in those from WKY rats. This vasodilatory effect of α-LA did not change after preincubation with N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 µmol/l), but significantly suppressed by an AMPK inhibitor, compound C (40 µmol/l). The expression of pAMPKα, pLKB1, and CaMKK were also significantly reduced in endothelium-denuded arteries from 16-week-old SHR compared with those from younger SHR or age-matched WKY rats. After incubation with α-LA (100 µmol/l), the expression of pAMPKα and pLKB1 was significantly increased in the endothelium-denuded aortas from 16-week-old SHR, the expression of CaMKK was more reduced in the endothelium-denuded aortas of 8-week-old SHR, but this was not observed in WKY rats. α-LA also activated AMPKα phosphorylation in A10 cells.
The effects of α-LA on vascular relaxation in SHR result from the enhanced phosphorylation of LKB1-AMPK in aortic smooth muscle.
American Journal of Hypertension 11/2011; 25(2):152-8. DOI:10.1038/ajh.2011.196 · 3.40 Impact Factor