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J Pharmacol Sci. 2007 Apr;103(4):427-33. Epub 2007 Mar 31.

Endothelin-1 induces contraction via a Syk-mediated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in rat aortic smooth muscle.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Konkuk University, Danwol-dong, Chungju, Korea.


Although spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) has crucial roles in various cells, its function on vascular smooth muscle contraction has not been determined. In the present study, we performed experiments to determine if Syk contributes to the endothelin-1 (ET-1)-mediated contraction in rat aortic smooth muscle. ET-1-induced contraction of aortic strips was inhibited by piceatannol, PD98059, and SB203580, inhibitors of Syk, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), respectively. Piceatannol also attenuated high K(+)-induced contraction. ET-1 dose-dependently enhanced the activity of Syk and this was inhibited by piceatannol in both rat aortic strip and rat aortic smooth muscle cells. The phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), but not that of ERK1/2, in response to ET-1 was inhibited by both piceatannol and SB203580. These results suggest that Syk may play an important role in the regulation of aortic smooth muscle contraction induced by ET-1, which may be mediated by the p38 MAPK/HSP27 signaling pathway.

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