Background: Cyclophilin A (CypA) is a cytosolic protein which involves many biological functions including immune modulation, cell growth, tumorigenesis, and vascular disease. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of CypA on cell proliferation and several gene expressions in human endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells.
Methods: Human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC), human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC-L), and human aorta smooth muscle cells (HAoSMC) were used in this study. Cells were treated with 10 nM CypA for 24 h. The cell proliferation was determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation. The mRNA levels of 13 genes including CD147 (receptor for CypA), PDGF-BB, endothelin-1 (ET-1), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1), VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), NRP-2, eNOS, iNOS, nNOS, ICAM-1, and PECAM-1 were semiquantitatively determined by real time RT-PCR as standardized with a house keeping gene beta-actin.
Results: CypA significantly increased cell proliferation of HAoSMC and HMVEC-L by 31% and 45%, respectively, as compared to controls, but had no effect on HCAEC. Blocking CD147 did not affect the mitogenic action of CypA. In addition, CypA also significantly increased the mRNA expression of CD147 by 43% and VEGFR-2 by 65% in HAoSMCs (P < 0.05, t test). HAoSMCs expressed much higher CD147 and neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) mRNA than HMVECs-L and HCAECs (P < 0.017, ANOVA). Furthermore, CypA increased ET-1 mRNA by 22% and VEGFR-1 mRNA by 23% in HMVECs-L, but had limited effects on HCAECs. HMVECs-L had much higher expressions of PDGF-BB, ET-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-1, VEGFR-3, and NRP-2 than HAoSMCs and HCAECs (P < 0.017, ANOVA). By contrast, HCAECs had much higher ICAM-1 mRNA levels than HMVECs-L and HAoSMCs (P < 0.017, ANOVA).
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that CypA has a mitogenic effect on HAoSMCs and HMVECs-L, but not HCAECs. CD147 may not mediate the action of CypA. In addition, CypA substantially alters the mRNA levels of several key genes in human vascular cells, indicating potential multifunctional roles of CypA in vascular system. Furthermore, this study provides several new aspects of gene expressions in vascular cells.