The proliferation-promoting effect of neuropeptide Y (NPY) always functions in low-serum-cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), and the phenotypic switch of VSMCs is regulated by concentrations of serum. Whether the property of the NPY proliferative effect in VSMCs relies on phenotype of VSMCs is unclear. We aimed to explore the role of NPY on proliferation of different VSMC phenotypes in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. By stimulating A10 cells with 200 nM NPY in 0.5 or 10% serum, 3H-thymidine and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) and CCK8 measurements were used to detect VSMC proliferation. RT-PCR and Flow cytometry were performed to detect the factors involved in different properties of the NPY proliferative effect in VSMCs. Instead of facilitating proliferation, NPY had no significant effect on the growth of VSMCs when cultured in 10% serum (VSMCs stayed at synthetic states). The underlying mechanism may be involved in down-regulation of Y1 receptor (P < 0.05 vs. Vehicle) and up-regulation of Geminin (P < 0.05 vs. Vehicle) in 10% serum-cultured VSMCs co-incubated with 200 nM NPY. Besides, modulation of Geminin was effectively blocked by the Y1 receptor antagonist. The stimulation of NPY on proliferation of VSMCs could be a double-edged sword in the development of atherosclerosis and thus provides new knowledge for therapy of atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Geminin; NPY; Phenotype; Serum; Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs).