Endothelin-1 Potentiates Human Smooth Muscle Cell Growth to PDGF
Effects of ETA and ETB Receptor Blockade
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Background—Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor. However, its mitogenic effects on vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) remain controversial. We investigated the role of ET-1 in human SMC growth and its synergistic effect with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF).
Methods and Results—Human aortic SMCs were cultured and cell proliferation was assayed by [3H]thymidine incorporation. PDGF receptor expression, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), cell cycle regulators such as cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2), Cdk inhibitor (p27Kip1), and retinoblastoma protein (pRb) were analyzed by immunoblotting. ET-1 on its own was unable to stimulate [3H]thymidine incorporation but dramatically potentiated the effect of PDGF-BB up to 6-fold (P<0.001). Most of the potentiating effects (88%) were blocked by the ETA receptor antagonist LU135252 and slightly further blocked by the ETA/B receptor antagonist bosentan (P<0.05). ET-1 stimulated MAPK, but it neither potentiated PDGF-induced MAPK activation nor overexpressed PDGF receptors. In contrast to PDGF-BB, ET-1 had no regulatory effects on Cdk2, p27Kip1, and pRb.
Conclusions—In human SMCs, ET-1 activates MAPK but has no mitogenic effects on its own. However, ET-1 markedly potentiates proliferation to PDGF, mainly via ETA receptors. This may represent an important function of ET-1 for vascular structural changes in patients and provide new therapeutic opportunities for ET-1 receptor antagonists.
- Received November 20, 1998.
- Revision received May 12, 1999.
- Accepted May 12, 1999.
- Copyright © 1999 by American Heart Association