cGMP-Elevating Agents Suppress Proliferation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells by Inhibiting the Activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Signaling Pathway
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Background Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) is a key event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and many vascular diseases. It is known that nitric oxide released from the endothelium participates in the regulation of VSMC proliferation via a cyclic 3′,5′-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-mediated mechanism. In a series of experiments, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and A02131-1 were evaluated for their antiproliferative effect and the mechanism of their cGMP-elevating action.
Methods and Results The effect of SNP and A02131-1 on epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated proliferation of rat aortic smooth muscle cells (VSMC) was examined. Cell proliferation was measured in terms of [3H]thymidine incorporation, flow cytometry, and the cell number. Further, their effect on the EGF-activated signal transduction pathway was assessed by measuring mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), MAPK kinase (MEK), Raf-1 activity, and the formation of active form of Ras. SNP and A02131-1 inhibited EGF-induced DNA synthesis and subsequent proliferation of VSMC. These two increased cGMP but only a little cAMP in VSMC. A similar antiproliferative effect was observed with 8-bromo-cGMP. The antiproliferative effect of the two was reversed by KT5823 but not by dideoxyadenosine nor Rp-cAMPS. SNP and A02131-1 blocked the EGF-inducible cell cycle progression at the G1/S phase. Further experiments indicated that the two cGMP-elevating agents primarily blocked the activation of Raf-1 by EGF-activated Ras.
Conclusions These results demonstrate that cGMP-elevating agents inhibit [3H]thymidine incorporation and thus the growth of VSMC, and this inhibition appears to attenuate EGF-activated signal transduction pathway by preventing Ras-dependent activation of Raf-1.
- Received June 13, 1996.
- Revision received October 2, 1996.
- Accepted October 13, 1996.
- Copyright © 1997 by American Heart Association