Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), a potent chemoattractant for monocytes, is thought to play a major role in atherosclerosis, but whether its atherogenic effects involve the direct modulation of vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) functions remains unclear. This study examined the effects of MCP-1 on the migration of cultured A7r5 SMCs and the signaling pathways involved. Addition of recombinant MCP-1 stimulated SMC migration in modified Boyden chambers coated with type I collagen in a concentration-dependent manner, with 10-9 M being maximally effective. Using untreated A7r5 cells, two MCP-1 receptors, CCR2 and CCR4, were detected and MCP-1 secretion was significantly increased by stimulation with platelet-derived growth factor. MCP-1-stimulated A7r5 migration was completely blocked by the NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium (DPI), and dose-dependently inhibited by polyethylene glycol-conjugated superoxide dismutase (PEG-SOD), suggesting a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in this process. During MCP-1 stimulation, ROS production increased rapidly, then gradually decayed over 60 min, and this effect was markedly decreased by pretreatment with DPI or PEG-SOD. Interestingly, U0126 and PD98059, which inhibit activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK 1/2), significantly inhibited MCP-1-activated ROS generation. Furthermore, transfection of an active mutant of MEK1 (ERK 1/2 kinase) markedly increased superoxide production in rat aortic smooth muscle cells, as detected by dihydroethydium staining, suggesting that ERK 1/2 activation stimulates ROS generation. ERK 1/2 activation was increased for at least 30 min in cells incubated with MCP-1, and this effect was abolished by U0126 or DPI pretreatment. These results demonstrate that MCP-1 is a chemoattractant for SMCs and that MCP-1-stimulated migration requires both ROS production and ERK 1/2 activation in a positive activation loop, which may contribute to the atherogenic effects of MCP-1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, medical
- Pharmacology (medical)