Abstract 638: Urotensin II Promotes Calcification in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
Introduction: Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death in Western societies. Vasoactive peptide urotensin II (UII) is upregulated in atherosclerosis and several other cardiovascular diseases however further research is required to develop a complete understanding of UII’s role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that UII stimulates calcification in vascular smooth muscle cells and that UII, urotensin II related peptide (URP) and UT receptor expression are upregulated in calcified aortic valves.
Methods and Results: Human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC) were cultured in phosphate media (2.6mmol/L) for 13 days in the presence of varying concentrations of UII (0, 10, 50, 100nm) and the amount of calcium was measured with a calcium assay kit. Protein was extracted and measured with a protein assay kit. HASMC calcification was assessed as the ratio of calcium (μg)/protein (mg). HASMC calcification increased with increasing UII concentration and was significantly elevated in 100nm of UII (N=6, P<0.05) 13 days after incubation. We also examined UII, URP and UT protein expression in 90 carotid endarterectomies and 87 mitral, non-calcified and calcified aortic valves by immunohistochemistry. Multivariant Spearman correlation analyses in carotids revealed significant positive correlations between UII, URP and UT overall staining with calcification, remodeling and inflammation (P<0.05). In valves there was significant positive correlations between UII, URP and UT overall staining with calcification, fibrosis, remodeling, inflammation, lipid score and microvessels (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The stimulatory effect of UII on vascular smooth muscle cell calcification as well as the upregulated expression of UII, URP and UT in calcified aortic valves suggests that the UT receptor system plays a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and valve calcification.
Author Disclosures: I. Albanese: None. Z. You: None. B. Yu: None. B. Barratt: None. D. Shum-Tim: None. H. Al Kindi: None. M. Alreshidan: None. A. Schwertani: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.