Angiotensin II (Ang II) stimulates the release of prostaglandins (PGs) in various cells and tissues. Recently, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) emerged as a new key regulator for PG synthesis. In the present study, we investigated whether Ang II regulates COX-2 expression in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Ang II markedly increased the expression of COX-2 mRNA in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This effect was completely blocked by the Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan but not by the Ang II type 2 receptor antagonist PD123319. The p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase-1 inhibitor PD98059 and the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 significantly suppressed Ang II-induced COX-2 mRNA and protein expression. Ang II did not increase transcription of the COX-2 gene, as examined with a COX-2 promoter/luciferase chimeric plasmid construct. Instead, it suppressed the degradation of COX-2 mRNA. PD98059 and SB203580 markedly enhanced the decay of COX-2 mRNA induced by Ang II, implying that p42/44 and p38 MAPK activated by Ang II play a role in the regulation of COX-2 through stabilization of its mRNA. The COX-2-specific inhibitor NS-398 attenuated Ang II-stimulated DNA and protein synthesis, as well as PGE2 production by VSMCs. These results suggest that Ang II regulates COX-2 expression and PG production and modulates cell proliferation through MAPK-mediated signaling pathways in rat VSMCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine