Aim: Advanced glycation end products (AGE) and a receptor for AGE (RAGE) play a key role in diabetic vascular complications. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and apoptosis contribute to plaque instability. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is crucial for NADPH oxidase-dependent redox signaling pathways in the vascular wall. We investigated the effects of RAS blockade on AGE-triggered signaling pathways and its downstream events, including MMP-9 and apoptosis.
Methods: We used cultured rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which were stimulated with AGE in the presence or absence of temocaprilat or olmesartan.
Results: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) mRNA levels were increased 4 to 6 hours after adding AGE. AGE induced Rac1 and p47phox membrane translocation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and NF-κB phosphorylation within 15 minutes, and various molecular expressions after 18 hours, which were attenuated by RAS blockade by temocaprilat or olmesartan. AGE-induced RAGE expression, as well as other molecules, including membrane type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), was NADPH oxidase signaling-dependent and blunted by temocaprilat and olmesartan. The parameters of plaque instability, including MMP-9 expression and activity, and apoptosis were up-regulated by AGE, which was markedly attenuated by temocaprilat or olmesartan. Using isolated human monocyte culture, AGE-induced ROS generation and molecular expression were also attenuated by RAS blockade.
Conclusion: The present study shows that AGE-triggered NADPH oxidase signaling pathways, including MMP-9 and apoptosis, were attenuated by RAS blockade, which may be an attractive strategy for treating plaque instability in diabetic vascular complications.