To help elucidate the role of calcineurin in vascular inflammation, we infected cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) with an adenovirus construct expressing a constitutively active mutant of calcineurin, and examined its effect on the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1).
Inducible heme oxygenase-1 and downstream proteins biliverdin reductase and p21, a cyclin-dependent kinase, were up-regulated, potentially contributing to phenotypic heterogeneity and absence of atherosclerosis in patients with sickle cell disease despite endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation.
Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) mediates the transendothelial migration of circulating leukocytes, a characteristic change in vascular inflammation leading to atherosclerotic plaque development.
These studies show that TLR4 signaling promotes a proinflammatory phenotype in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and suggest that VSMC may potentially play an active role in vascular inflammation via the release of chemokines, proinflammatory cytokines, and increased expression of TLR2.
We conducted variance-component linkage analyses of blood levels of four biomarkers of vascular inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1)] in 304 extended families from the Framingham Heart Study, using data from a 10cM genome scan.
Indeed, inhibition of ROCKs by statins or other selective inhibitors leads to the upregulation and activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and reduction of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.