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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;44(1):215-228. doi: 10.1159/000484648. Epub 2017 Nov 9.

Atorvastatin Calcium Inhibits PDGF-ββ-Induced Proliferation and Migration of VSMCs Through the G0/G1 Cell Cycle Arrest and Suppression of Activated PDGFRβ-PI3K-Akt Signaling Cascade.

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Department of Cardiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Department of Cardiology, the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Heilongjiang, China.
The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Harbin Medical University, Ministry of Education, Heilongjiang, China.



Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is a hallmark of vascular lesions, such as atherosclerosis and restenosis. PDGF-ββ, an isoform of PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor), has been demonstrated to induce proliferation and migration of VSMCs. Atorvastatin calcium, a selective inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, has favorable protective effects on VSMCs. This study examined the effects of atorvastatin calcium on the proliferation and migration of PDGF-ββ-treated VSMCs, as well as its underlying mechanisms.


MTT assays, Edu imaging, cell cycle analysis, wound healing assays, transwell migration assays, and western blot analysis were performed.


Atorvastatin calcium significantly inhibited cell proliferation, DNA synthesis and cell migration of PDGF-ββ-treated VSMCs. We demonstrated that atorvastatin calcium induced cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase in response to PDGF-ββ stimulation and decreased the expression of G0/G1-specific regulatory proteins, including proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), CDK2, cyclin D1, cyclin E and CDK4 in PDGF-ββ-treated VSMCs. Moreover, pretreatment with atorvastatin calcium inhibited the PDGF-ββ-treated phosphorylation of PDGFRβ and Akt, whereas atorvastatin calcium did not affect the phosphorylation of PLC-γ1 or (ERK) 1/2.


Our data suggested that atorvastatin calcium inhibited abnormal proliferation and migration of VSMCs through G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and suppression of the PDGFRβ-Akt signaling cascade.


Akt; Atorvastatin calcium; PDGF-ββ; Vascular smooth muscle cells

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