Background - Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), recently identified as one of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases, is activated by various extracellular stimuli and involved in a variety of cellular function. Therefore, we first examined the role of ASK1 in vascular remodeling. Methods and Results - We used rat balloon injury model and cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Arterial ASK1 activity was rapidly and dramatically increased after balloon injury. To specifically inhibit endogenous ASK1 activation, dominant-negative mutant of ASK1 (DN-ASK1) was transfected into rat carotid artery before balloon injury. Gene transfer of DN-ASK1 significantly prevented neointimal formation at 14 days after injury. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling index at 7 days after injury showed that DN-ASK1 remarkably suppressed VSMC proliferation in both the intima and the media. We also examined the role of ASK1 in cultured rat VSMCs. Infection with DN-ASK1 significantly attenuated serum-induced VSMC proliferation and migration. We also compared neointimal formation after cuff placement around the femoral artery between mice deficient in ASK1 (ASK1-/- mice) and wild-type (WT) mice. Neointimal formation at 28 days after cuff injury in ASK1 -/- mice was significantly attenuated compared with WT mice. Furthermore, we compared the proliferation and migration of VSMCs isolated from ASK1-/- mice with WT mice. Both proliferation and migration of VSMCs from ASK1-/- mice were significantly attenuated compared with VSMCs from WT mice. Conclusions - ASK1 activation plays the key role in vascular intimal hyperplasia. ASK1 may provide the basis for the development of new therapeutic strategy for vascular diseases.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Dec 2|
- Muscle, smooth
- Signal transduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)