Minimally modified LDL upregulates endothelin type B receptors in rat coronary artery via ERK1/2 MAPK and NF-κB pathways

Li Jie, Cao Yong-Xiao, Yuan Zu-Yi, Xu Cang-Bao
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2012, 1821 (4): 582-9
Minimally modified low density lipoprotein (mmLDL) is a well-known risk factor for coronary artery disease. Upregulation of vascular endothelin type B (ET(B)) receptors on the vascular smooth muscle cells is predicted to be the molecular mechanism that leads to cardiovascular pathogenesis. The objective of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that mmLDL upregulates ET(B) receptors in rat coronary artery. The contractile responses to sarafotoxin 6c (ET(B) receptor agonist) were studied using a sensitive myograph. ET(B) receptor mRNA and protein expression was determined using real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. The results showed that organ culture increased the contractile responses induced by sarafotoxin 6c and the levels of ET(B) receptor mRNA and protein. This increase was further enhanced by the addition of mmLDL (10μg/mL). Specific ERK1/2 inhibitors (SB386023 and U0126) and an NF-κB inhibitor (wedelolactone) attenuated the mmLDL-increased ET(B) receptor-mediated contraction and ET(B) receptor mRNA and protein levels. Wedelolactone significantly attenuated the mmLDL-decreased IκB(α) protein expression. Consistent with this result, IκB(α) protein expression was significantly decreased by culture with mmLDL compared to the level of expression in the organ culture group. However, the JNK inhibitor, SP600125 or p38 pathway inhibitor, SB203580 did not inhibit mmLDL-enhanced effects. The PKC inhibitor, staurosporine attenuated only culture-alone-increased effects. In conclusion, mmLDL upregulates the ET(B) receptors in rat coronary arterial smooth muscle cells, mainly via activation of the ERK1/2 MAPK and the downstream transcriptional factor NF-κB.

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