Alpha 1-adrenergic stimulation of platelet-derived growth factor A-chain gene expression in rat aorta

M. W. Majesky, M. J. Daemen, S. M. Schwartz

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Sympathetic nerves and catecholamines exert growth-promoting trophic influences on arterial smooth muscle in vivo, but the molecular signals mediating these trophic effects are unknown. We report here that the alpha-adrenergic agonist phenylephrine (PE) produced dose-dependent stimulation of platelet-derived growth factor A-chain (PDGF-A) gene expression in rat thoracic aorta via agonist occupancy of alpha 1-adrenergic receptors. Increases in aortic PDGF-A mRNA levels were rapid (maximal at 6 h, 10-fold) and transient. Among seven different tissues studied, PE evoked significant increases in PDGF-A mRNA levels only in the aorta. When periaortic fatty/connective tissues normally adherent to thoracic aorta were examined separately from the remaining aortic vessel wall (endothelium removed), stimulated PDGF-A gene expression was found only in vessel wall (presumably smooth muscle). The physiological alpha-adrenergic agonist norepinephrine also increased aortic PDGF-A mRNA levels. Angiotensin II or endothelin, despite producing blood pressure increases similar to PE, had little or no effect on PDGF-A mRNA abundance in rat aorta. PE-stimulated PDGF-A gene expression was accompanied by increased expression of other growth-related genes including c-fos, c-myc, and ornithine decarboxylase but not DNA synthesis. These results suggest a mechanism for previously described trophic effects of sympathetic nerves and catecholamines on arterial smooth muscle mass, i.e. regulation of growth-related gene expression via alpha 1-adrenergic receptors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1088
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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