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American journal of physiology. Cell physiology

Myoendothelial gap junctions mediate regulation of angiopoietin-2-induced vascular hyporeactivity after hypoxia through connexin 43-gated cAMP transfer.


PMID 28637680

Abstract

Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) contributes to vascular hyporeactivity after hemorrhagic shock and hypoxia through upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in a vascular endothelial cell (VEC)-specific and Ang-2/Tie2 receptor-dependent manner. While iNOS is primarily expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), the mechanisms of signal transfer from VECs to VSMCs are unknown. A double-sided coculture model with VECs and VSMCs from Sprague-Dawley rats was used to investigate the role of myoendothelial gap junctions (MEGJs), the connexin (Cx) isoforms involved, and other relevant mechanisms. After hypoxia, VSMCs treated with exogenous Ang-2 showed increased iNOS expression and hyporeactivity, as well as MEGJ formation and communication. These Ang-2 effects were suppressed by the MEGJ inhibitor 18α-glycyrrhetic acid (18-GA),