In the present study, we investigated the effect of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) on PDGF-induced cell proliferation and collagen synthesis in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Normal human PASMCs were incubated with and without PDGF-BB in the absence and presence of BMP4 for 0.5 to 24 h. The protein levels of collagen-I, p-Smad2/3, p-Smad1/5, and intracellular active TGF-β1, calpain activity, and cell proliferation were then measured. The results showed that BMP4 induced an increase in p-Smad1/5 but had no effect on the protein levels of collagen-I, p-Smad2/3, and intracellular active TGF-β1 and calpain activity in control PASMCs. Nevertheless, BMP4 attenuated increases in cell proliferation and protein levels of collagen-I, p-Smad2/3, and intracellular active TGF-β1 and calpain activity in PASMCs exposed to PDGF-BB. Moreover, BMP4 increased PKA activity and inhibition of PKA prevented the inhibitory effects of BMP4 on PDGF-BB-induced calpain activation in normal PASMCs. The PKA activator forskolin recapitulated the suppressive effect of BMP4 on PDGF-induced calpain activation. Furthermore, BMP4 prevented a PDGF-induced decrease in calpain-2 phosphorylation at serine-369 in normal PASMCs. Finally, BMP4 did not attenuate PDGF-induced increases in cell proliferation, collagen-I protein levels, and calpain activation and did not induce PKA activation and did not prevent a PDGF-induced decrease in calpain-2 phosphorylation at serine-369 in PASMCs from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients. These data demonstrate that BMP4 inhibits PDGF-induced cell proliferation and collagen synthesis via PKA-mediated inhibition of calpain-2 in normal PASMCs. The inhibitory effects of BMP4 on PDGF-induced cell proliferation, collagen synthesis, and calpain-2 activation are impaired in PASMCs from PAH patients, which may contribute to pulmonary vascular remodeling in PAH.
- pulmonary hypertension
- vascular smooth muscle cells
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