Beta-arrestins regulate atherosclerosis and neointimal hyperplasia by controlling smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration.
Atherosclerosis and arterial injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia involve medial smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and migration into the arterial intima. Because many 7-transmembrane and growth factor receptors promote atherosclerosis, we hypothesized that the multifunctional adaptor proteins beta-arrestin1 and -2 might regulate this pathological process. Deficiency of beta-arrestin2 in ldlr(-/-) mice reduced aortic atherosclerosis by 40% and decreased the prevalence of atheroma SMCs by 35%, suggesting that beta-arrestin2 promotes atherosclerosis through effects on SMCs. To test this potential atherogenic mechanism more specifically, we performed carotid endothelial denudation in congenic wild-type, beta-arrestin1(-/-), and beta-arrestin2(-/-) mice. Neointimal hyperplasia was enhanced in beta-arrestin1(-/-) mice, and diminished in beta-arrestin2(-/-) mice. Neointimal cells expressed SMC markers and did not derive from bone marrow progenitors, as demonstrated by bone marrow transplantation with green fluorescent protein-transgenic cells. Moreover, the reduction in neointimal hyperplasia seen in beta-arrestin2(-/-) mice was not altered by transplantation with either wild-type or beta-arrestin2(-/-) bone marrow cells. After carotid injury, medial SMC extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation and proliferation were increased in beta-arrestin1(-/-) and decreased in beta-arrestin2(-/-) mice. Concordantly, thymidine incorporation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation and migration evoked by 7-transmembrane receptors were greater than wild type in beta-arrestin1(-/-) SMCs and less in beta-arrestin2(-/-) SMCs. Proliferation was less than wild type in beta-arrestin2(-/-) SMCs but not in beta-arrestin2(-/-) endothelial cells. We conclude that beta-arrestin2 aggravates atherosclerosis through mechanisms involving SMC proliferation and migration and that these SMC activities are regulated reciprocally by beta-arrestin2 and beta-arrestin1. These findings identify inhibition of beta-arrestin2 as a novel therapeutic strategy for combating atherosclerosis and arterial restenosis after angioplasty.
Kim, J; Zhang, L; Peppel, K; Wu, J-H; Zidar, DA; Brian, L; DeWire, SM; Exum, ST; Lefkowitz, RJ; Freedman, NJ
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