Objective - Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) phenotype modulation is critical for the resolution of vascular injury. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of PI3Kγ (phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ) exerts anti-inflammatory and protective effects in multiple cardiovascular diseases. This study investigated the role of PI3Kγ and its downstream effector molecules in the regulation of VSMC phenotypic modulation and neointimal formation in response to vascular injury. Approach and Results - Increased expression of PI3Kγ was found in injured vessel wall as well in cultured, serum-activated wild-type VSMCs, accompanied by a reduction in the expression of calponin and SM22α, 2 differentiation markers of VSMCs. However, the injury-induced downregulation of calponin and SM22α was profoundly attenuated in PI3Kγ-/- mice. Pharmacological inhibition and short hairpin RNA knockdown of PI3Kγ (PI3Kγ-KD) markedly attenuated YAP (Yes-associated protein) expression and CREB (cyclic AMP-response element binding protein) activation but improved the downregulation of differentiation genes in cultured VSMCs accompanied by reduced cell proliferation and migration. Mechanistically, activated CREB upregulated YAP transcriptional expression through binding to its promoter. Ectopic expression of YAP strikingly repressed the expression of differentiation genes even in PI3Kγ-KD VSMCs. Moreover, established carotid artery ligation and chimeric mice models demonstrate that deletion of PI3Kγ in naïve PI3Kγ-/- mice as well as in chimeric mice lacking PI3Kγ either in bone marrow or vascular wall significantly reduced neointimal formation after injury. Conclusions - PI3Kγ controls phenotypic modulation of VSMCs by regulating transcription factor CREB activation and YAP expression. Modulating PI3Kγ signaling on local vascular wall may represent a new therapeutic approach to treat proliferative vascular disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine