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J Cell Physiol. 1992 Nov;153(2):221-33.

Extracellular ATP and ADP stimulate proliferation of porcine aortic smooth muscle cells.

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Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


The mitogenic effect of extracellular ATP on porcine aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) was examined. Stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation by ATP was dose-dependent; the maximal effect was obtained at 100 microM. ATP acted synergistically with insulin, IGF-1, EGF, PDGF, and various other mitogens. Incorporation of [3H]thymidine was correlated with the fraction of [3H]thymidine-labeled nuclei and changes in cell counts. The stimulation of proliferation was also determined by measurement of cellular DNA using bisbenzamide and by following the increase of mitochondrial dehydrogenase protein. The effect of ATP was not due to hydrolysis to adenosine, which shows synergism with ATP. ATP acted as a competence factor. The mitogenic effect of ATP, but not adenosine, was further increased by lysophosphatidate, phosphatidic acid, or norepinephrine. The inhibitor of adenosine deaminase, EHNA, stimulated the effect of adenosine but not ATP. The adenosine receptor antagonist theophylline depressed adenosine-induced mitogenesis. ADP and the non-hydrolyzable analogue adenosine 5'-[beta, gamma-imido]triphosphate (AMP-PNP) were equally mitogenic. Thus extracellular ATP stimulated mitogenesis of SMC via P2Y purinoceptors. The mechanism of ATP acting as a mitogen in SMC was further explored. Extracellular ATP stimulated the release of [3H]arachidonic acid (AA) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) into the medium, and enhanced cAMP accumulation in a dose-dependent fashion similar to ATP-induced [3H]thymidine incorporation. Inhibitors of the arachidonic acid metabolism pathway, quinacrine and indomethacin, partially inhibited the mitogenic effect of ATP but not of adenosine. Pertussis toxin inhibited ATP-stimulated DNA synthesis, AA release, PGE2 formation, and cAMP accumulation. Down-regulation of protein kinase C (PKC) by long-term exposure to phorbol dibutyrate (PDBu) partially prevented stimulation of DNA synthesis and activation of the AA pathway by ATP. The PKC inhibitor, staurosporine, antagonized mitogenesis stimulated by ATP. No synergistic effect was found when PDBu and ATP were added together. Therefore, a dual mechanism, including both arachidonic acid metabolism and PKC, is involved in ATP-mediated mitogenesis in SMC. In addition, ATP acted synergistically with angiotensin II, phospholipase C, serotonin, or carbachol to stimulate DNA synthesis. Finally, the possible physiological significance of ATP as a mitogen in SMC was further studied. The effect of endothelin and heparin, which are released from endothelial cells, on ATP-dependent mitogenesis was investigated. Extracellular ATP acted synergistically with endothelin to stimulate a greater extent of [3H]thymidine incorporation than was seen with PDGF plus endothelin. Heparin, believed to have a regulatory role, partially inhibited the stimulation of DNA synthesis caused both by ATP and PDGF.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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