JOURNAL ARTICLE

PPARgamma agonist, rosiglitazone, regulates angiotensin II-induced vascular inflammation through the TLR4-dependent signaling pathway

Yuanyuan Ji, Juntian Liu, Zhidong Wang, Na Liu, Wei Gou
Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology 2009, 89 (8): 887-902
19451898
Atherosclerosis is increasingly recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease. Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a critical factor in inflammatory responses, so as to promote the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activates signaling pathways leading to the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines implicated in the etiology of atherosclerosis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists are considered to be important in modulating vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Herein, we investigated the modulatory effects of rosiglitazone on Ang II-mediated inflammatory responses both in vivo and in vitro. We also examined whether TLR4-dependent signaling pathway was involved in the inhibitory effects of rosiglitazone on Ang II-induced pro-inflammatory responses in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Male Sprague-Dawley rats received Ang II by subcutaneous infusion and/or rosiglitazone per os for 7 days. Systolic blood pressure rise in Ang II-infused rats was attenuated by rosiglitazone. Rosiglitazone also reduced Ang II-induced generation of pro-inflammatory mediators (TLR4, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha), but enhanced production of anti-inflammatory mediators (PPARgamma and 6-keto-PGF(1alpha)) both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, treatment of VSMCs with both the TLR4 inhibitor and TLR4 small-interfering RNA (siRNA) showed that the modulatory effects of rosiglitazone on Ang II-mediated inflammatory responses in VSMCs were related to TLR4. Treatment of the cells with rosiglitazone had little effect on Ang II receptors expression (AT1 and AT2), but downregulated AT1-dependent ERK1/2 activation. Then, treatment of VSMCs with TLR4 siRNA, interferon-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) siRNA and with the special protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor further revealed that the signaling pathway (TLR4/IP-10/PKC/NF-kappaB) was involved in the inhibitory effects of rosiglitazone on Ang II-induced pro-inflammatory responses in VSMCs. In conclusion, TLR4 may be a drug target involved in the ameliorative effects of PPARgamma agonist, rosiglitazone, on Ang II-mediated inflammatory responses in VSMCs. Moreover, rosiglitazone exerts its anti-inflammatory effect by interfering with the TLR4-dependent signaling pathway (ERK1/2/TLR4/IP-10/PKC/NF-kappaB) to prevent and treat atherosclerotic diseases.

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