Objective: Nitric oxide signaling pathways are of central importance in both the maintenance of vascular homeostasis and the progression of vascular disease. Since smooth muscle cell apoptosis is associated with numerous vascular disorders, the authors investigated whether YC-1, a soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activator, regulates apoptosis in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Methods and results: Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) (1 mM) induced cGMP (guanosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate)-independent apoptosis in rat vascular smooth muscle cells using MTT assay and TUNEL-reaction techniques. Furthermore, sodium nitroprusside induced apoptosis via Bcl-2 down-regulation, cytochrome c release reaction, and caspase-3 activation by Western blotting analysis and enzymatic assay methods. YC-1 abolished these apoptotic signaling cascades and prevented apoptosis through a cGMP-involved pathway, and phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase behaved a downstream event in this pathway. Conclusions: These results suggest that YC-1 inhibits sodium nitroprusside-induced vascular smooth muscle cells apoptosis via a cGMP- and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-involved inhibition on Bcl-2 down-regulation/ cytochrome c release/caspase-3 activation cascades. The ability of YC-1 to prevent smooth muscle cell apoptosis may play an important role in blocking lesion formation at sites of vascular injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)