Background - We recently demonstrated that the Rho-kinase-mediated pathway plays an important role for coronary artery spasm in our porcine model with interleukin-1β (IL-1β). In this study, we examined whether or not Rho-kinase is upregulated at the spastic site and if so, how it induces vascular smooth muscle hypercontraction. Methods and Results - Segments of the left porcine coronary artery were chronically treated from the adventitia with IL-1β-bound microbeads. Two weeks after the operation, as reported previously, intracoronary serotonin repeatedly induced coronary hypercontractions at the IL-1β-treated site both in vivo and in vitro, which were markedly inhibited by Y-27632, one of the specific inhibitors of Rho- kinase. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that the expression of Rho-kinase mRNA was significantly increased in the spastic compared with the control segment. Western blot analysis showed that during the serotonin-induced cotractions, the extent of phosphorylation of the myosin-binding subunit of myosin phosphatase (MBS), one of the major substrates of Rho-kinase, was significantly greater in the spastic than in the control segment and that the increase in MBS phosphorylations was also markedly inhibited by Y-27632. There was a highly significant correlation between the extent of MBS phosphorylations and that of contractions. Conclusions - These results indicate that Rho-kinase is upregulated at the spastic site and plays a key role in inducing vascular smooth muscle hypercontraction by inhibiting myosin phosphatase through the phosphorylation of MBS in our porcine model.
- Muscle, smooth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)