Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration is an essential step involved in neointimal formation in restenosis and atherosclerosis. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive component of oxidized low density lipoprotein and is produced by activated platelets, implying that LPA influences vascular remodeling. Our previous study revealed that matricellular protein CCN1, a prominent extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, mediates LPA-induced SMC migration in vitro. Here we examined the role of CCN1 in LPA-induced neointimal formation. By using LPA infusion of carotid artery in a mouse model, we demonstrated that LPA highly induced CCN1 expression (6~7 fold) in neointimal lesions. Down-regulation of CCN1 expression with the specific CCN1 siRNA in carotid arteries blocked LPA-induced neointimal formation, indicating that CCN1 is essential in LPA-induced neointimal formation. We then used LPA receptor knockout (LPA1-/-, LPA2-/- and LPA3-/-) mice to examine LPA receptor function in CCN1 expression in vivo and in LPA-induced neointimal formation. Our data reveal that LPA1 deficiency, but not LPA2 or LPA3 deficiency, prevents LPA-induced CCN1 expression in vivo in mouse carotid arteries. We also observed that LPA1 deficiency blunted LPA infusion-induced neointimal formation, indicating that LPA1 is the major mediator for LPA-induced vascular remodeling. Our in vivo model of LPA-induced neointimal formation established a key role of the ECM protein CCN1 in mediating LPA-induced neointimal formation. Our data support the notion that the LPA1-CCN1 axis may be the central control for SMC migration and vascular remodeling. CCN1 may serve as an important vascular disease marker and potential target for vascular therapeutic intervention.
- lysophosphatidic acid
- smooth muscle cells
- neointimal formation
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology