Cilostazol inhibits cytokine-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation via AMP-activated protein kinase activation in vascular endothelial cells

Yoshiyuki Hattori, Kunihiro Suzuki, Atsuko Tomizawa, Noriko Hirama, Toshie Okayasu, Sachiko Hattori, Hiroko Satoh, Kazumi Akimoto, Kikuo Kasai
Cardiovascular Research 2009 January 1, 81 (1): 133-9

AIMS: Cilostazol is a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 3 that increases intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels and activates protein kinase A, thereby inhibiting platelet aggregation and inducing peripheral vasodilation. We hypothesized that cilostazol may prevent inflammatory cytokine induced-nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in vascular endothelial cells.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Cilostazol was observed to activate AMPK and its downstream target, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Phosphorylation of AMPK with cilostazol was not affected by co-treatment with an adenylate cyclase inhibitor, SQ 22536, and a cell-permeable cAMP analogue, pCTP-cAMP, did not induce AMPK phosphorylation and had no effect on cilostazol-induced AMPK phosphorylation, suggesting that cilostazol-induced AMPK activation occurs through a signalling pathway independent of cyclic AMP. Cilostazol also dose-dependently inhibited tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-induced NF-kappaB activation and TNFalpha-induced I kappa B kinase activity. Furthermore, cilostazol attenuated the TNFalpha-induced gene expression of various pro-inflammatory and cell adhesion molecules, such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and PECAM-1 in HUVEC. RNA interference of AMPK alpha 1 or the AMPK inhibitor compound C attenuated cilostazol-induced inhibition of NF-kappaB activation by TNFalpha.

CONCLUSION: In the light of these findings, we suggest that cilostazol might attenuate the cytokine-induced expression of adhesion molecule genes by inhibiting NF-kappaB following AMPK activation.

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