Amino Acids

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 1193–1200

Apelin suppresses apoptosis of human vascular smooth muscle cells via APJ/PI3-K/Akt signaling pathways

  • Rong-Rong Cui
  • Ding-An Mao
  • Lu Yi
  • Cheng Wang
  • Xing-Xing Zhang
  • Hui Xie
  • Xian-Ping Wu
  • Xiao-Bo Liao
  • Hua Zhou
  • Ji-Cai Meng
  • Ling-Qing Yuan
  • Er-Yuan Liao
Original Article

Abstract

Apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an important role in regulating vascular remodeling during cardiovascular diseases. Apelin is the endogenous ligand for the G-protein-coupled receptor APJ and plays an important role in the cardiovascular system. However, the mechanisms of apelin on apoptosis of VSMCs have not been elucidated. Using a culture of human VSMCs as a model for the study of apoptosis, the relationship between apelin and apoptosis of human VSMCs and the signal pathway involved were investigated. Using western blotting, we confirmed that VSMCs could express APJ. To evaluate the possible role of apelin in VSMC apoptosis, we assessed its effect on apoptosis of human VSMCs. The results showed that apelin inhibited human VSMCs apoptosis induced by serum deprivation. Suppression of APJ with small-interfering RNA (siRNA) abolished the anti-apoptotic activity of apelin. Apelin increased Bcl-2 protein expression, but decreased Bax protein expression. An increase in activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and Akt (a downstream effector of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) was shown after apelin stimulation. Suppression of APJ with siRNA abolished the apelin-induced activation of ERK and Akt. LY294002 (a PI3-K inhibitor) blocked apelin-induced activation of Akt and abolished the apelin-induced antiapoptotic activity. Our study suggests that apelin suppresses serum deprivation-induced apoptosis of human VSMCs, and that the anti-apoptotic action is mediated through the APJ/PI3-K/Akt signaling pathways.

Keywords

Apelin Vascular smooth muscle cells Apoptosis Extracellular signal-regulated kinases Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Akt 

Supplementary material

726_2010_555_MOESM1_ESM.doc (186 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 186 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rong-Rong Cui
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ding-An Mao
    • 1
  • Lu Yi
    • 2
  • Cheng Wang
    • 1
  • Xing-Xing Zhang
    • 1
  • Hui Xie
    • 3
  • Xian-Ping Wu
    • 3
  • Xiao-Bo Liao
    • 4
  • Hua Zhou
    • 3
  • Ji-Cai Meng
    • 3
  • Ling-Qing Yuan
    • 3
  • Er-Yuan Liao
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, The Second Xiang-Ya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Urology, The Second Xiang-Ya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology, The Second Xiang-Ya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryThe Second Xiang-Ya Hospital, Central South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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