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Pioglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, attenuates PDGF-induced vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation through AMPK-dependent and AMPK-independent inhibition of mTOR/p70S6K and ERK signaling

Pioglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, attenuates PDGF-induced vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation through AMPK-dependent and AMPK-independent inhibition of mTOR/p70S6K and ERK signaling

Biochemical Pharmacology 101: 54-70

Pioglitazone (PIO), a PPARγ agonist that improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes through its insulin-sensitizing action, has been shown to exhibit beneficial effects in the vessel wall. For instance, it inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, a major event in atherosclerosis and restenosis after angioplasty. Although PPARγ-dependent and PPARγ-independent mechanisms have been attributed to its vasoprotective effects, the signaling events associated with PIO action in VSMCs are not fully understood. To date, the likely intermediary role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) toward PIO inhibition of VSMC proliferation has not been examined. Using human aortic VSMCs, the present study demonstrates that PIO activates AMPK in a sustained manner thereby contributing in part to inhibition of key proliferative signaling events. In particular, PIO at 30μM concentration activates AMPK to induce raptor phosphorylation, which diminishes PDGF-induced mTOR activity as evidenced by decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K, 4E-BP1, and S6 and increased accumulation of p27(kip1), a cell cycle inhibitor. In addition, PIO inhibits the basal phosphorylation of ERK in VSMCs. Downregulation of endogenous AMPK by target-specific siRNA reveals an AMPK-independent effect for PIO inhibition of ERK, which contributes in part to diminutions in cyclin D1 expression and Rb phosphorylation and the suppression of VSMC proliferation. Furthermore, AMPK-dependent inhibition of mTOR/p70S6K and AMPK-independent inhibition of ERK signaling occur regardless of PPARγ expression/activation in VSMCs as evidenced by gene silencing and pharmacological inhibition of PPARγ. Strategies that utilize nanoparticle-mediated PIO delivery at the lesion site may limit restenosis after angioplasty without inducing PPARγ-mediated systemic adverse effects.

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Accession: 058558555

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26643070

DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2015.11.026

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