Abstract 17763: Inhibition of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling Reduces Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Calcification Associated with Matrix Gla Protein Deficiency
Background: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is an extracellular matrix protein that inhibits bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in vitro. MGP deficiency induces vascular calcification associated with osteogenic transdifferentiation of endothelial cells (via endothelial-mesenchymal transition, EndMT) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). We previously reported that treatment with two pharmacologic inhibitors of BMP signaling reduced aortic calcification in MGP-/- mice. We hypothesized that BMP signaling is essential for EndMT and VSMC osteogenic transdifferentiation induced by MGP deficiency.
Methods and Results: Aortic levels of mRNAs encoding markers of osteogenesis (Runx2 and osteopontin) and EndMT (nanog, Sox2, and Oct3/4) were greater in MGP-/- than in wild-type mice (P<0.01 for all). Aortic expression of markers of VSMC differentiation (α-smooth muscle actin, transgelin, and calponin) was less in MGP-/- than in wild-type mice (P<0.001 for all). Treatment of MGP-/- mice with the BMP signaling inhibitor, LDN-193189, reduced expression of both osteogenic and EndMT markers (P<0.05 for all) but did not prevent VSMC de-differentiation. Depletion of MGP in cultured wild-type VSMCs with siRNA specific for MGP (siMGP) was associated with a 30-40% reduction in levels of mRNAs encoding markers of VSMC differentiation (P<0.05 for all), an effect that was not prevented by LDN-193189. Incubation in phosphate-containing media induced greater calcification in siMGP-treated VSMCs than in cells treated with control siRNA (P<0.0001). Treatment with LDN-193189 reduced calcification in siMGP-treated VSMCs (50%, P=0.0003). Conversely, infection of MGP-/- VSMCs with adenovirus specifying MGP increased expression of markers of VSMC differentiation by 60-80% (P<0.01 for all) and decreased calcification by 74% (P=0.03).
Conclusions: Inhibition of BMP signaling suppresses osteogenic and EndMT gene programs in MGP-/- mice and reduces calcification of siMGP-treated VSMCs. However, MGP deficiency induces VSMC de-differentiation via a BMP-independent mechanism. These findings suggest that the processes underlying vascular calcification in MGP deficiency are mediated by both BMP signaling-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Author Disclosures: M.F. Burke: None. C. O’Rourke: None. T. Martyn: None. H.R. Shakartzi: None. T.E. Thayer: None. P. Li: None. M. Derwall: Ownership Interest; Modest; MGH has applied for patents related to LDN-193189. Dr. Derwall may be entitled to royalties.. E. Spagnolli: None. S.A. Kolodziej: None. C. Mayeur: None. P. Jiramongkolchai: None. D.B. Bloch: None. E.S. Buys: None. P.B. Yu: Ownership Interest; Modest; MGH has applied for patents related to LDN-193189. Dr. Yu may be entitled to royalties. K.D. Bloch: Ownership Interest; Modest; MGH has applied for patents related to LDN-193189. Dr. Bloch may be entitled to royalties. R. Malhotra: Research Grant; Significant; NHLBI, AHA. Ownership Interest; Modest; MGH has applied for patents related to LDN-193189. Dr. Malhotra may be entitled to royalties..
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.