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Regul Pept. 2003 Apr 15;112(1-3):167-73.

Adrenomedullin is an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for rat vascular smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, 1-5-45, Yushima, Tokyo 113-8519, Bunkyo, Japan.


Adrenomedullin is a potent vasodilator peptide secreted by vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Adrenomedullin stimulates the proliferation of quiescent rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) via p42/p44 ERK/MAP kinase activation. Recently, receptor-activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) have been shown to transport calcitonin-receptor-like-receptor (CRLR) to the cell surface to present either as CGRP receptor or adrenomedullin receptor. We investigated whether adrenomedullin acts as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for cultured rat VSMCs and whether coexpressions of RAMP isoform and CRLR may mediate p42/p44 ERK/MAP kinase activation by adrenomedullin. Adrenomedullin dose-dependently stimulated the proliferation of quiescent rat VSMCs, and this effect was inhibited by an adrenomedullin receptor antagonist, a MAP kinase kinase inhibitor and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors. Addition of either CGRP(8-37) or anti-adrenomedullin antibody to exponentially growing rat VSMCs inhibited the serum-induced cell proliferation, suggesting its role as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor. Cotransfection of RAMP2 or RAMP3 with CRLR into rat VSMCs potentiated activation of cAMP activity, but not of p42/p44 ERK/MAP kinase activity in response to adrenomedullin. Our results suggest that adrenomedullin is an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for rat VSMCs via p42/p44 ERK/MAP kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathways and that it is not mediated by human RAMP-CRLR receptors.

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