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Circ Res. 2006 Jun 23;98(12):1479-89. Epub 2006 May 18.

An osteopontin-NADPH oxidase signaling cascade promotes pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9 activation in aortic mesenchymal cells.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo., USA.


Osteopontin (OPN) is a cytokine upregulated in diabetic vascular disease. To better understand its role in vascular remodeling, we assessed how OPN controls metalloproteinase (MMP) activation in aortic adventitial myofibroblasts (AMFs) and A7r5 vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). By zymography, OPN and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha preferentially upregulate pro-matrix metalloproteinase 9 (pro-MMP9) activity. TNF-alpha upregulated pro-MMP9 in AMFs isolated from wild-type (OPN(+/+)) mice, but pro-MMP9 induction was abrogated in AMFs from OPN(-/-) mice. OPN treatment of VSMCs enhanced pro-MMP9 activity, and TNF-alpha induction of pro-MMP9 was inhibited by anti-OPN antibody and apocynin. Superoxide and the oxylipid product 8-isoprostaglandin F(2) alpha-isoprostane (8-IsoP) were increased by OPN treatment, and anti-OPN antibody suppressed 8-IsoP production. Like OPN and TNF-alpha, 8-IsoP preferentially activated pro-MMP9. Superoxide, 8-IsoP, and NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) subunits were reduced in OPN(-/-) AMFs. Treatment of A7r5 VSMCs with OPN upregulated NADPH oxidase subunit accumulation. OPN structure/function studies mapped these activities to the SVVYGLR heptapeptide motif in the thrombin-liberated human OPN N-terminal domain (SLAYGLR in mouse OPN). Treatment of aortic VSMCs with SVVYGLR upregulated pro-MMP9 activity and restored TNF-alpha activation of pro-MMP9 in OPN(-/-) AMFs. Injection of OPN-deficient OPN(+/-) mice with SVVYGLR peptide upregulated pro-MMP9 activity, 8-IsoP levels, and Nox2 protein levels in aorta and increased panmural superoxide production (dihydroethidium staining). At equivalent hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, 8-IsoP levels and aortic pro-MMP9 were reduced with complete OPN deficiency in a model of diet-induced diabetes, achieved by comparing OPN(-/-)/LDLR(-/-) versus OPN(+/-)/LDLR(-/-) siblings. Thus, OPN provides a paracrine signal that augments vascular pro-MMP9 activity, mediated in part via superoxide generation and oxylipid formation.

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