[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that activator protein-1 (AP-1), containing c-Jun, is rapidly activated in balloon-injured artery. Therefore, we examined the role of c-Jun in vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, by using in vitro and in vivo gene transfer techniques. (1) Serum (2%) stimulation significantly increased AP-1 DNA binding activity in aortic SMCs, followed by the increase in both 3H-thymidine incorporation and cell number. Aortic SMCs were infected with recombinant adenovirus containing TAM67, a dominant negative c-Jun lacking transactivation domain of wild c-Jun (Ad-DN-c-Jun), to specifically inhibit AP-1. Ad-DN-c-Jun significantly inhibited serum-induced SMC proliferation, by inhibiting the entrance of SMC into S phase. (2) The effect of DN-c-Jun was examined on balloon injury-induced intimal hyperplasia in rats. Before balloon injury, DN-c-Jun was transfected into rat carotid artery using the hemagglutinating virus of Japan-liposome method. In vivo transfection of DN-c-Jun significantly inhibited vascular SMC proliferation in the intima and the media and subsequently prevented intimal thickening at 14 days after balloon injury. We obtained the first evidence that DN-c-Jun gene transfer prevented vascular SMC proliferation in vitro and in vivo, and c-Jun was involved in balloon injury-induced intimal hyperplasia. Thus, AP-1 seems to be the new therapeutic target for treatment of vascular diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), belonging to mitogen-activated protein kinases, are rapidly activated in balloon-injured artery. Therefore, we examined the role of these kinase activations in neointimal formation by using an in vivo gene transfer technique. We made the dominant-negative mutants of ERK (DN-ERK) and JNK (DN-JNK) to specifically inhibit endogenous ERK and JNK activation, respectively. Before balloon injury, these mutants were transfected into rat carotid artery using the hemagglutinating virus of Japan liposome method. In vivo transfection of DN-ERK and DN-JNK significantly suppressed the activation of ERK and JNK, respectively, after balloon injury, confirming successful expression of the transfected genes. Neointimal formation at 14 and 28 days after injury was prevented by gene transfer of DN-ERK or DN-JNK. Furthermore, bromodeoxyuridine labeling index and total cell-counting analysis at 7 days showed that either DN-ERK or DN-JNK remarkably suppressed smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation in both the intima and the media after injury. Gene transfer of wild-type ERK (W-ERK) or JNK (W-JNK) significantly enhanced neointimal hyperplasia at 14 days after injury. Furthermore, DN-ERK and DN-JNK significantly suppressed serum-induced SMC proliferation in vitro. We obtained the first evidence that in vivo gene transfer of DN-ERK or DN-JNK prevented neointimal formation in balloon-injured artery by inhibiting SMC proliferation. Thus, ERK and JNK activation triggers SMC proliferation, leading to neointimal formation. These kinases may be the new therapeutic targets for prevention of vascular diseases.
Circulation Research 07/2001; 88(11):1120-6. · 11.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanism and treatment of diastolic heart failure are poorly understood. We compared the effects of an ACE inhibitor, an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), and their combination on diastolic heart failure in Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) rats.
DS rats fed an 8% NaCl diet from 7 weeks of age were treated with benazepril 10 mg/kg alone, valsartan 30 mg/kg alone, or combined benazepril and valsartan at 5 and 15 mg/kg, respectively, or at 1 and 3 mg/kg, respectively. At 16 weeks of age, DS rats exhibited prominent concentric left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction with preserved systolic function, as estimated by echocardiography. Despite comparable hypotensive effects among all drug treatments, the combination of benazepril 5 mg/kg and valsartan 15 mg/kg improved diastolic dysfunction and survival in DS rats more effectively than ACE inhibitor or ARB alone. Furthermore, the increase in LV endothelin-1 levels and hydroxyproline contents in DS rats was significantly suppressed only by combined benazepril and valsartan, and LV atrial natriuretic peptide mRNA upregulation in DS rats was suppressed to a greater extent by the combination therapy than monotherapy.
The combination of ACE inhibitor and ARB, independently of the hypotensive effect, improved LV phenotypic change and increased LV endothelin-1 production and collagen accumulation, diastolic dysfunction, and survival in a rat heart failure model more effectively than either agent alone, thereby providing solid experimental evidence that the combination of these 2 agents is more beneficial than monotherapy for treatment of heart failure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is unclear whether the previous in vitro evidence of a link between angiotensin II (Ang II) and growth factor receptors can apply to the in vivo situation. In this study, we examined vascular platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor activation in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) and the role of Ang II. Tyrosyl phosphorylation of the growth factor receptors was determined by Western blot analysis coupled with immunoprecipitation. Tyrosyl phosphorylation of the aortic PDGF beta-receptor, but not the EGF receptor, was chronically increased in SHRSP with hypertension, compared with normotensive rats, being accompanied by increased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity. Treatment of SHRSP with ACE inhibitors (perindopril or enalapril) significantly reduced aortic PDGF beta-receptor tyrosyl phosphorylation and ERK activity, whereas treatment with hydralazine failed to reduce these activities. Therefore, these aortic changes in SHRSP were mediated by Ang II in response to vascular ACE. Ang II was infused into rats to examine the effects on aortic growth factor receptors. Chronic Ang II infusion, via the angiotensin type 1 receptor, significantly increased activation of the aortic PDGF beta-receptor but not the EGF receptor. Thus, the aortic PDGF beta-receptor, activated by ACE-mediated Ang II, seems to be responsible for vascular remodeling in hypertensive rats.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vitro studies on the role of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family (extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK], c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase [JNK], and p38) in cardiac hypertrophic response have produced confusing and contradictory results. We examined the in vivo role of the angiotensin II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor in cardiac MAP kinase activities during both the onset and development of cardiac hypertrophy in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). In both the acute and chronic phases of cardiac hypertrophy in SHRSP, cardiac JNK activities were significantly increased compared with those in normotensive rats, whereas there was no prominent increase in cardiac ERK or p38 activities in SHRSP. Losartan, an AT(1) receptor antagonist, prevented the onset of cardiac hypertrophy and regressed the progression of cardiac hypertrophy in SHRSP, being accompanied by the reduction of JNK activity and activator protein-1 (AP-1) activity in SHRSP. However, in spite of the normalization of blood pressure, hydralazine did not prevent or regress cardiac hypertrophy and did not decrease JNK or AP-1 activity in SHRSP. Inversely, hydralazine significantly increased the cardiac ERK activity in SHRSP by enhancing its phosphorylation. In conclusion, we have obtained the first evidence that the AT(1) receptor is involved in the enhanced cardiac JNK activity in both the onset and development of cardiac hypertrophy of hypertensive rats. We propose that JNK is involved in AT(1) receptor-mediated cardiac hypertrophy in vivo, in part mediated by the activation of AP-1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The combination therapy with ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor antagonists, or calcium channel antagonists may exert more beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases than monotherapy. Perindopril, candesartan cilexetil, or amlodipine alone or the combination of low doses of each agent was administered orally to stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) for 4 weeks to compare the hypotensive or cardiovascular effects. Although perindopril (2 mg/kg), candesartan cilexetil (2 mg/kg), or amlodipine (3 mg/kg) alone caused comparable hypotensive effects in SHRSP, monotherapy with perindopril or candesartan decreased left ventricular (LV) weight; mRNA levels for atrial natriuretic factor, skeletal alpha-actin, and collagen types I and III; and aortic weight and platelet-derived growth factor-beta receptor tyrosine phosphorylation to a greater extent than monotherapy with amlodipine. Although monotherapy with a low dose (0.2 mg/kg) of perindopril or candesartan cilexetil did not significantly reduce the LV mRNA levels and aortic platelet-derived growth factor-beta receptor phosphorylation of the SHRSP, combination therapy at such a low dose normalized these parameters more potently than the use of amlodipine (3 mg/kg) alone. Although perindopril or candesartan cilexetil alone at 0.05 mg/kg did not decrease the blood pressure of the SHRSP, such a low dose of combination therapy decreased LV weight and atrial natriuretic factor mRNA levels of the SHRSP to a greater extent than amlodipine alone or amlodipine combined with perindopril or candesartan cilexetil. Our results provide evidence that suggests the combination of an ACE inhibitor and an AT(1) receptor antagonist may be more effective in the treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases than the combination of a calcium channel blocker with an ACE inhibitor or an AT(1) receptor antagonist or monotherapy with each agent.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that angiotensin II (Ang II) contributes to the increase in aortic transforming growth factor-beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)) mRNA levels in hypertensive rats. However, the molecular mechanism whereby Ang II promotes TGF-beta(1) expression in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is poorly understood. In this study, we examined the role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in Ang II-mediated TGF-beta(1) expression in VSMCs and the role of Ang II in aortic ERK activity of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Treatment of quiescent VSMCs with 100 nmol/L Ang II induced rapid phosphorylation and activation of ERK1 and ERK2 with a peak at 5 minutes followed by an increase in activator protein-1 (AP-1) DNA binding activity, as shown by gel mobility shift assay. An increase in TGF-beta(1) mRNA was shown by Northern blot analysis. Treatment of VSMCs with PD98059, a specific inhibitor of the ERK pathway, attenuated both the activation of AP-1 and the increase in TGF-beta(1) mRNA induced by Ang II. Inhibition of Ang II-induced AP-1 activation with c-fos antisense oligodeoxynucleotide led to a significant reduction of TGF-beta(1) mRNA in VSMCs. Furthermore, in vivo treatment of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats with losartan, an Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist, decreased aortic ERK activity. Thus, we show that ERK, through AP-1 activation, is involved in Ang II-induced TGF-beta(1) mRNA expression in VSMCs and suggest that ERK may participate in vascular remodeling of hypertension. However, it remains to be determined whether the increase in TGF-beta(1) mRNA leads to the increase in its active protein.