by Gaurav K. Gupta, Tanupriya Agrawal, Michael G. Del Core, William J. Hunter, Devendra K. Agrawal
Inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-a, play a key role in the pathogenesis of occlusive vascular diseases. Activation of vitamin D receptors (VDR) elicits both growth-inhibitory and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we investigated the expression of TNF-a and VDR in post-angioplasty coronary artery neointimal lesions of hypercholesterolemic swine and examined the effect of vitamin D deficiency on the development of coronary restenosis. We also examined the effect of calcitriol on cell proliferation and effect of TNF-a on VDR activity and expression in porcine coronary artery smooth muscle cells (PCASMCs) in-vitro. Methodology/Principal Findings
Expression of VDR and TNF-a and the effect of vitamin D deficiency in post-angioplasty coronary arteries were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and histomorphometry. Cell proliferation was examined by thymidine and BrdU incorporation assays in cultured PCASMCs. Effect of TNF-a-stimulation on the activity and expression of VDR was analyzed by luciferase assay, immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry. In-vivo, morphometric analysis of the tissues revealed typical lesions with significant neointimal proliferation. Histological evaluation showed expression of smooth muscle a-actin and significantly increased expression of TNF-a in neointimal lesions. Interestingly, there was significantly decreased expression of VDR in PCASMCs of neointimal region compared to normal media. Indeed, post-balloon angioplasty restenosis was significantly higher in vitamin D-deficient hypercholesterolemic swine compared to vitamin D-sufficient group. In-vitro, calcitriol inhibited both serum- and PDGF-BB-induced proliferation in PCASMCs and TNF-a-stimulation significantly decreased the expression and activity of VDR in PCASMCs. Conclusions/Significance
These data suggest that significant downregulation of VDR in proliferating smooth muscle cells in neointimal lesions could be due to atherogenic cytokines, including TNF-a. Vitamin D deficiency potentiates the development of coronary restenosis. Calcitriol has anti-proliferative properties in PCASMCs and these actions are mediated through VDR. This could be a potential mechanism for uncontrolled growth of neointimal cells in injured arteries leading to restenosis.