Cross Talk Between Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Monocytes Through Interleukin-1β/Interleukin-18 Signaling Promotes Vein Graft Thickening
Objective—Interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 are key proinflammatory cytokines that play important roles in the pathophysiology of vein graft remodeling. However, the mechanism of IL-1β/IL-18 production and its role in the development of graft remodeling remain unclear.
Approach and Results—IL-1β/IL-18 were rapidly expressed in venous interposition grafts. Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) death and monocytic inflammasome activation occurred in grafted veins. Necrotic VSMCs induced the expression of IL-1β, IL-18, and other inflammasome-associated proteins in monocytes, which was partially inhibited by their antagonist, recombinant IL-1ra-Fc-IL-18bp. Activated monocytes stimulated proliferation of VSMCs by activating cell growth–related signaling molecules (AKT, STAT3, ERK1/2, and mTOR) and increasing production of platelet-derived growth factor-bb; these effects were suppressed by IL-1ra-Fc-IL-18bp. Activated monocytes also promoted migration of VSMCs, which was independent of IL-1β/IL-18 signaling. Importantly, administration of IL-1ra-Fc-IL-18bp inhibited activation of cell growth–related signaling molecules, VSMC proliferation, and vein graft thickening in vivo.
Conclusions—Our work identified an interaction among necrotic VSMCs, monocytes, and viable VSMCs through IL-1β/IL-18 signaling, which might be exploited as a therapeutic target in vein graft remodeling.
- Received December 24, 2013.
- Accepted June 17, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.