Abstract 934: Contributory Role of VEGF Overexpression in Endothelin-1-induced Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy: Involvement of Hyopoxia Inducible Factor
Although endothelin-1 (ET-1) stimulates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in a variety of cells, including endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, the effect of ET-1 on expression of VEGF and its receptors in cardiomyocytes is unknown. In the present study, we found that treatment of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes with ET-1 for 24 h resulted in upregulation of VEGF and its two principle receptors, fetal liver kinase (flk)-1 and fms-like tyrosine kinase (flt)-1, in a concentration-dependent manner (10−12-10−6 M). ET-1 treatment also caused significant cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, as indicated by increases in cell surface area (2.0-fold compared to control) and 14C-leucine uptake (1.8 fold) by cardiomyocytes. And this ET-1 mediated upregulation of VEGF in cardiomyocytes was associated with the induction of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1β and HIF-2α, not HIF-1α. Treatment with TA-0201 (10−6 M), an ETA selective blocker, eliminated ET-1-induced overexpression of VEGF and its receptors as well as cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Treatment with VEGF neutralizing peptides (5–10 μg/ml) partially but significantly inhibited ET-1-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Both TA-0201 and VEGF neutralizing peptides also significantly prevented the increase of phosphorylated KDR, which implies the activation of VEGF system in ET-1 induced hypertrophied cardiomyocyte. These results suggest that ET-1 treatment of cardiomyocytes promotes overexpression of VEGF and its receptors via activation of ETA receptors, and consequently the upregulated VEGF signaling system appears to contribute, at least in part, to ET-1-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.