Nifedipine inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and reactive oxygen species production through AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway

Jin Young Sung, Hyoung Chul Choi
Vascular Pharmacology 2012, 56 (1-2): 1-8
The dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker nifedipine induces specific pharmacological effects by binding to L-type calcium channels, which results in a reduced calcium influx in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and is currently employed in antihypertensive drug. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker is reported to reduce oxidative stress and exhibits anti-proliferative effect in VSMCs. VSMCs are useful in the study of atherosclerosis because they show cell proliferation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production with growth factor. To determine the mechanisms involved in these effects, we investigated the influence of nifedipine-induced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation on VSMC proliferation and ROS production by using rat aortic VSMCs in vitro and in vivo. Nifedipine induced phosphorylation of AMPK in a dose-and time-dependent manner, and inhibited rat VSMC proliferation and ROS production following stimulation with 15% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Nifedipine also blocked the FBS-stimulated cell cycle progression through the G0/G1 arrest. Compound C, a specific inhibitor of AMPK, or AMPK siRNA reduced the nifedipine-mediated inhibition of VSMC proliferation. As an upstream kinase, LKB1 is required for nifedipine-induced AMPK activation in VSMCs. 7 days oral administration of 1 mg/kg nifedipine resulted in activation of LKB1 and AMPK in vivo. These data suggest that nifedipine suppress the VSMC proliferation and ROS production via activating LKB1-AMPK pathway.

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