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By activating prostacyclin receptors (IP receptors), prostacyclin (PGI2 ) exerts cardiovascular protective effects such as vasodilation and inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation. However, IP receptors are dysfunctional under pathological conditions, and PGI2 produces detrimental effects that are opposite to its physiological protective effects via thromboxane-prostanoid (TP) receptors. This attempted to investigate whether or not IP receptor dysfunction facilitates the shift of PGI2 action. The effects of PGI2 and its stable analog iloprost on VSMC phenotypic transformation and proliferation were examined in A10 cells silencing IP receptors, in human aortic VSMCs (HAVSMCs) knocked down IP receptor by CRISPR-Cas9, or in HAVSMCs transfected with a dysfunctional mutation of IP receptor IPR212C . PGI2 /iloprost treatment stimulated cell proliferation, upregulated synthetic proteins and downregulated contractile proteins, suggesting that PGI2 /iloprost promotes VSMC phenotypic transformation in IP-deficient cells. The effect of PGI2 /iloprost was prevented by TP antagonist S18886 or TP knockdown, indicating that the VSMC detrimental effect of PGI2 is dependent on TP receptor. RNA sequencing and Western blotting results showed that RhoA/ROCKs, MEK1/2 and JNK signalling cascades were involved. Moreover, IP deficiency increased the distribution of TP receptors at the cell membrane. PGI2 induces VSMC phenotypic transformation when IP receptors are impaired. This is attributed to the activation of TP receptor and its downstream signaling cascades, and to the increased membrane distribution of TP receptors. The VSMC detrimental effect of PGI2 medicated by IP dysfunction and TP activation might probably exacerbate vascular remodelling, accelerating cardiovascular diseases. © 2020 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Ziqing Li, Wenwei Luo, Shi Fang, Xinyi Chen, Tong Lin, Sihang Zhou, Lili Zhang, Wanqi Yang, Zhenzhen Li, Jiantao Ye, Junjian Wang, Peiqing Liu, Zhuoming Li. Prostacyclin facilitates vascular smooth muscle cell phenotypic transformation via activating TP receptors when IP receptors are deficient. Acta physiologica (Oxford, England). 2021 Feb;231(2):e13555

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PMID: 32886850

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