Background-—Although apoptosis and cell proliferation have been extensively investigated in atherosclerosis and restenosis postinjury, the communication between these 2 cellular events has not been evaluated. Here, we report an inextricable communicative link between apoptosis and smooth muscle cell proliferation in the promotion of vascular remodeling postinjury. Methods and Results-—Cathepsin K–mediated caspase-8 maturation is a key initial step for oxidative stress–induced smooth muscle cell apoptosis. Apoptotic cells generate a potential growth-stimulating signal to facilitate cellular mass changes in response to injury. One downstream mediator that cathepsin K regulates is PLF-1 (proliferin-1), which can potently stimulate growth of surviving neighboring smooth muscle cells through activation of PI3K/Akt/p38MAPK (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase)-dependent and-independent mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signaling cascades. We observed that cathepsin K deficiency substantially mitigated neointimal hyperplasia by reduction of Toll-like receptor-2/caspase-8–mediated PLF-1 expression. Interestingly, PLF-1 blocking, with its neutralizing antibody, suppressed neointima formation and remodeling in response to injury in wild-type mice. Contrarily, administration of recombinant mouse PLF-1 accelerated injury-induced vascular actions. Conclusions-—This is the first study detailing PLF-1 as a communicator between apoptosis and proliferation during injury-related vascular remodeling and neointimal hyperplasia. These data suggested that apoptosis-driven expression of PLF-1 is thus a novel target for treatment of apoptosis-based hyperproliferative disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine