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Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Dec;40(12):6729-35. doi: 10.1007/s11033-013-2788-8. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

Testosterone promotes vascular endothelial cell migration via upregulation of ROCK-2/moesin cascade.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Guiling Medical College, Guiling City, 541004, Guangxi Province, China.


Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated a reverse relationship between serum level of testosterone (T) and the incidence rate of cardiovascular disease in men, indicating that T exerts beneficial effects in cardiovascular system. However, the endothelial effects of T are poorly understood. Actin remodeling is essential for endothelial cell movement and vascular repair and this process is controlled by the actin-binding protein moesin. In the present study, we studied the effects of T on actin remodeling, moesin expression and phosphorylation, as well as cell migration in cultured human umbilical endothelial cells (hUVECs). We found that T provoked the formation of cortical actin complexes and membrane protrusions in endothelial cells. Treatment with T induced dose- and time-dependent increase of moesin expression and phosphorylation, which was inhibited by the addition of androgen receptor antagonist hydroxyflutamide (HF). Moreover, T enhanced ROCK-2 activity. The ROCK-2 inhibitor Y27632 or the transfection of ROCK-2 siRNA largely inhibited T-induced moesin expression and phosphorylation, indicating that ROCK-2 pathway is crucial for these effects. T promoted endothelial cell migration, which was inhibited by the addition of HF or Y27632. In conclusion, T induces actin cytoskeleton remodeling by regulating moesin expression and activation, resulting in enhanced endothelial cell migration. Our work adds new insights into endothelial mechanisms of T, which is relevant for its vascular actions.

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