Pubmed ID: 31505229
Publication Date: 2019/09/07
Inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell calcification by vasorin through interference with TGFβ1 signaling.
Elevated transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) levels are frequently observed in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. TGFβ1 contributes to development of medial vascular calcification during hyperphosphatemia, a pathological process promoted by osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Vasorin is a transmembrane glycoprotein highly expressed in VSMCs, which is able to bind TGFβ to inhibit TGFβ signaling. Thus, the present study explored the effects of vasorin on osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation and calcification of VSMCs. Primary human aortic smooth muscle cells (HAoSMCs) were treated with recombinant human TGFβ1 or β-glycerophosphate without or with recombinant human vasorin or vasorin gene silencing by siRNA. As a result, TGFβ1 down-regulated vasorin mRNA expression in HAoSMCs. Vasorin supplementation inhibited TGFβ1-induced pathway activation, SMAD2 phosphorylation and downstream target genes expression in HAoSMCs. Furthermore, treatment with exogenous vasorin blunted, while vasorin knockdown augmented TGFβ1-induced osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation of HAoSMCs. In addition, phosphate down-regulated vasorin mRNA expression in HAoSMCs. Phosphate-induced TGFβ1 expression was not affected by addition of exogenous vasorin. Nonetheless, the phosphate-induced TGFβ1 signaling, osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation and calcification of HAoSMCs were all blunted by vasorin. Conversely, silencing of vasorin aggravated osteoinduction in HAoSMCs during high phosphate conditions. Aortic vasorin expression was reduced in the hyperphosphatemic klotho-hypomorphic mouse model of CKD-related vascular calcification. In conclusion, vasorin, which suppresses TGFβ1 signaling and protects against osteo-/chondrogenic transdifferentiation and calcification of VSMCs, is reduced by pro-calcifying conditions. Thus, vasorin is a novel key regulator of VSMC calcification and may represent a potential therapeutic target for vascular calcification during CKD.
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