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J Pharmacol Sci. 2011;117(2):98-105. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Effect of efonidipine on TGF-β1-induced cardiac fibrosis through Smad2-dependent pathway in rat cardiac fibroblasts.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Japan.


Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) plays a critical role in progression of cardiac fibrosis, which may involve intracellular calcium change. We examined effects of efonidipine, a dual T-type and L-type calcium channel blocker (CCB), on TGF-β1-induced fibrotic changes in neonatal rat cardiac fibroblast. T-type and L-type calcium channel mRNAs were highly expressed in cultured cardiac fibroblasts. TGF-β1 (5 ng/mL) significantly increased Smad2 phosphorylation and [(3)H]-leucine incorporation, which were attenuated by pretreatment with efonidipine (10 µM). Neither R(-)efonidipine (10 µM), selective T-type CCB, nor nifedipine (10 µM), selective L-type CCB, efficaciously inhibited both TGF-β1-induced Smad2 phosphorylation and [(3)H]-leucine incorporation. However, both were markedly attenuated by combination of R(-)efonidipine and nifedipine, EDTA, or calcium-free medium. Pretreatment with Smad2 siRNA significantly attenuated [(3)H]-leucine incorporation induced by TGF-β1. These data suggest that efonidipine elicits inhibitory effects on TGF-β1- and Smad2-dependent protein synthesis through both T-type and L-type calcium channel-blocking actions in cardiac fibroblasts.

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