Vascular Smooth Muscle Emilin-1 Is a Regulator of Arteriolar Myogenic Response and Blood Pressure
Objective—Emilin-1 is a protein of elastic extracellular matrix involved in blood pressure (BP) control by negatively affecting transforming growth factor (TGF)-β processing. Emilin1 null mice are hypertensive. This study investigates how Emilin-1 deals with vascular mechanisms regulating BP.
Methods and Results—This study uses a phenotype rescue approach in which Emilin-1 is expressed in either endothelial cells or vascular smooth muscle cells of transgenic animals with the Emilin1−/− background. We found that normalization of BP required Emilin-1 expression in smooth muscle cells, whereas expression of the protein in endothelial cells did not modify the hypertensive phenotype of Emilin1−/− mice. We also explored the effect of treatment with anti-TGF-β antibodies on the hypertensive phenotype of Emilin1−/− mice, finding that neutralization of TGF-β in Emilin1 null mice normalized BP quite rapidly (2 weeks). Finally, we evaluated the vasoconstriction response of resistance arteries to perfusion pressure and neurohumoral agents in different transgenic mouse lines. Interestingly, we found that the hypertensive phenotype was coupled with an increased arteriolar myogenic response to perfusion pressure, while the vasoconstriction induced by neurohumoral agents remained unaffected. We further elucidate that, as for the hypertensive phenotype, the increased myogenic response was attributable to increased TGF-β activity.
Conclusion—Our findings clarify that Emilin-1 produced by vascular smooth muscle cells acts as a main regulator of resting BP levels by controlling the myogenic response in resistance arteries through TGF-β.
- Received October 10, 2011.
- Accepted June 29, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.