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      Different Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis in the Human Internal Mammary Artery and the Saphenous Vein

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          Background: The remarkable patency of internal mammary artery (MA) grafts compared to saphenous vein (SV) grafts has been related to different biological properties of the two blood vessels. We examined whether proliferation and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) from human coronary artery bypass vessels differ according to patency rates. Methods and Results: Proliferation rates to serum or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB were lower in VSMC from MA than SV. Surface expression of PDGF β-receptor was slightly lower, while that of α-receptor was slightly higher in MA than SV. Cell cycle distribution, expression of cyclin E, cdk2, p21, p27, p57, and cdk2 kinase activity were identical in PDGF-BB-stimulated cells from MA and SV. However, apoptosis rates were higher in MA than SV determined by lactate dehydrogenase release, DNA fragmentation, and Hoechst 33258 staining. Moreover, caspase inhibitors (Z-VAD-fmk, Boc-D-fmk) abrogated the different proliferation rates of VSMC from MA versus SV. Western blotting and GSK3-β kinase assay revealed lower Akt activity in VSMC from MA versus SV, while total Akt expression was identical. Adenoviral transduction of a constitutively active Akt mutant abrogated the different proliferation rates of VSMC from MA versus SV. Conclusions: Higher apoptosis rates due to lower Akt activity rather than different cell cycle regulation account for the lower proliferation of VSMC from MA as compared to SV. VSMC apoptosis may protect MA from bypass graft disease.

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          Most cited references 9

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          G1 phase progression: cycling on cue.

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            Ten years of protein kinase B signalling: a hard Akt to follow.

            It is ten years since the publication of three papers describing the cloning of a new proto-oncogene serine/threonine kinase termed protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt. Key roles for this protein kinase in cellular processes such as glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, apoptosis, transcription and cell migration are now well established. The explosion of publications involving PKB/Akt in the past three years emphasizes the high level of current interest in this signalling molecule. This review focuses on tracing the characterization of this kinase, through the elucidation of its mechanism of regulation, to its role in regulating physiological and pathophysiological processes, to our current understanding of the biology of PKB/Akt, and prospects for the future.
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              Rho GTPase/Rho kinase negatively regulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation through the inhibition of protein kinase B/Akt in human endothelial cells.

              Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is an important regulator of cardiovascular homeostasis by production of nitric oxide (NO) from vascular endothelial cells. It can be activated by protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt via phosphorylation at Ser-1177. We are interested in the role of Rho GTPase/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway in regulation of eNOS expression and activation. Using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), we show here that both active RhoA and ROCK not only downregulate eNOS gene expression as reported previously but also inhibit eNOS phosphorylation at Ser-1177 and cellular NO production with concomitant suppression of PKB activation. Moreover, coexpression of a constitutive active form of PKB restores the phosphorylation but not gene expression of eNOS in the presence of active RhoA. Furthermore, we show that thrombin inhibits eNOS phosphorylation, as well as expression via Rho/ROCK pathway. Expression of the active PKB reverses eNOS phosphorylation but has no effect on downregulation of eNOS expression induced by thrombin. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Rho/ROCK pathway negatively regulates eNOS phosphorylation through inhibition of PKB, whereas it downregulates eNOS expression independent of PKB.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                July 2006
                28 July 2006
                : 43
                : 4
                : 338-346
                aCardiovascular Research, Physiology Institute, and bCenter for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zürich, cCardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital of Zürich, Zürich, dDepartment of Medicine, Division of Physiology, University Fribourg, Fribourg, and eClinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
                93606 J Vasc Res 2006;43:338–346
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, References: 21, Pages: 9
                Research Paper


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