Cardiovascular research

The Ca(v)3.1 T-type calcium channel is required for neointimal formation in response to vascular injury in mice.

PMID 22886848


Restenosis is an undesirable consequence following percutaneous vascular interventions. However, the current strategy for preventing restenosis is inadequate. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of low-voltage gated T-type calcium channels in regulating vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation during neointimal formation. Wire injury of mice carotid arteries resulted in neointimal formation in the wild-type and Ca(v)3.2(-/-) but not Ca(v)3.1(-/-) mice, indicating a critical role of Ca(v)3.1 in neointimal formation. In addition, we found a significant increase of Ca(v)3.1 mRNA and protein in injured arteries. Ca(v)3.1 knockout or knockdown (shCa(v)3.1) reduced VSMC proliferation. Since T-channels are expressed predominantly in the G(1) and S phases in VSMCs, we examined whether an abnormal G(1)/S transition was the cause of the reduced cell proliferation in shCa(v)3.1 VSMCs. We found a disrupted expression of cyclin E in shCa(v)3.1 VSMCs, and calmodulin agonist CALP1 partially rescued the defective cell proliferation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that infusion of NNC55-0396, a selective T-channel blocker, inhibited neointimal formation in wild-type mice. Ca(v)3.1 is required for VSMC proliferation during neointimal formation, and blocking of Ca(v)3.1 may be beneficial for preventing restenosis.

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