ADAMTS-7 mediates vascular smooth muscle cell migration and neointima formation in balloon-injured rat arteries

Li Wang, Jingang Zheng, Xue Bai, Bo Liu, Chuan-Ju Liu, Qingbo Xu, Yi Zhu, Nanping Wang, Wei Kong, Xian Wang
Circulation Research 2009 March 13, 104 (5): 688-98
The migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an essential role during the development of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Extensive studies have implicated the importance of extracellular matrix (ECM)-degrading proteinases in VSMC migration. A recently described family of proteinases, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTs), is capable of degrading vascular ECM proteins. Here, we sought to determine whether ADAMTS-7 is involved in VSMC migration and neointima formation in response to vascular injury. ADAMTS-7 protein accumulated preferentially in neointima of the carotid artery wall after balloon injury. In primary VSMCs, ADAMTS-7 level was enhanced by the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha and growth factor platelet-derived growth factor-BB. ADAMTS-7 overexpression greatly accelerated and small interfering RNA knockdown markedly retarded VSMC migration/invasion in vitro. In addition, luminal delivery of ADAMTS-7 adenovirus to carotid arteries exacerbated intimal thickening nearly sixfold 7 days after injury. Conversely, perivascular administration of ADAMTS-7 small interfering RNA but not scramble small interfering RNA to injured arteries attenuated intimal thickening by 50% at 14 days after injury. Furthermore, ADAMTS-7 mediated degradation of the vascular ECM cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) in injured vessels. Replenishing COMP circumvented the promigratory effect of ADAMTS-7 on VSMCs. Enforced expression of COMP significantly suppressed VSMC migration and neointima formation postinjury, which indicates that ADAMTS-7 facilitated intimal hyperplasia through degradation of inhibitory matrix protein COMP. ADAMTS-7 may therefore serve as a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis and postangioplasty restenosis.

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