Genetic variants that regulate lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 (LPP3) expression are risk factors for the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. LPP3 is dynamically upregulated in the context of vascular inflammation with particularly heightened expression in smooth muscle cells (SMC), however, the impact of LPP3 on vascular pathology is not fully understood. We investigated the role of LPP3 and lysophospholipid signaling in a well-defined model of pathologic aortic injury and observed Angiotensin II (Ang II) increases expression of PLPP3 in SMCs through nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling Plpp3 global reduction (Plpp3+/-) or SMC-specific deletion (SM22-Δ) protects hyperlipidemic mice from AngII-mediated aneurysm formation. LPP3 expression regulates SMC differentiation state and lowering LPP3 levels promotes a fibroblast-like phenotype. Decreased inactivation of bioactive lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) in settings of LPP3 deficiency may underlie these phenotypes because deletion of LPA receptor 4 in mice promotes early aortic dilation and rupture in response to AngII. LPP3 expression and LPA signaling influence SMC and vessel wall responses that are important for aortic dissection and aneurysm formation. These findings could have important implications for therapeutics targeting LPA metabolism and signaling in ongoing clinical trials.
© 2022. The Author(s).