Tauroursodeoxycholate (TUDCA) inhibits neointimal hyperplasia by suppression of ERK via PKCα-mediated MKP-1 induction

Seo Yoon Kim, Yoo-Wook Kwon, Il Lae Jung, Jong-Hyuk Sung, Sang Gyu Park
Cardiovascular Research 2011 November 1, 92 (2): 307-16

AIMS: Hyperplasia of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) after blood vessel injury is one of the major pathophysiological mechanisms associated with neointima. Tauroursodeoxycholate (TUDCA) is a cytoprotective agent in a variety of cells including hepatocytes as well as an inducer of apoptosis in cancer cells. In this study, we investigated whether TUDCA could prevent neointimal hyperplasia by suppressing the growth and migration of VSMCs.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Transporters of TUDCA uptake in human VSMCs (hVSMCs) were analysed by RT-PCR and western blot. A knock-down experiment using specific si-RNA revealed that TUDCA was incorporated into hVSMCs via organic anion transporter 2 (OATP2). TUDCA reduced the viability of hVSMCs, which were mediated by inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) by induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) via protein kinase Cα (PKCα). The anti-proliferative effect of TUDCA was reversed by treatment with 7-hydroxystaurosporine, an inhibitor of PKC, and by the knock-down of MKP-1. In addition, TUDCA suppressed hVSMC migration, which was mediated by reduced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression by ERK inhibition, as well as reduced viability of hVSMCs. Rats with carotid artery balloon injury received oral administration of TUDCA; this reduced the increase in ERK and MMP-9 caused by balloon injury. TUDCA significantly decreased the ratio of intima to media by reducing proliferation and inducing apoptosis of the VSMCs.

CONCLUSION: TUDCA inhibits neointimal hyperplasia by reducing proliferation and inducing apoptosis of smooth muscle cells by suppression of ERK via PKCα-mediated MKP-1 induction.

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