The objective of this study is to investigate the role and underlying mechanism of Olfactomedin 2 (Olfm2) in smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotypic modulation and vascular remodeling.Approach and Results—
Platelet-derived growth factor-BB induces Olfm2 expression in primary SMCs while modulating SMC phenotype as shown by the downregulation of SMC marker proteins. Knockdown of Olfm2 blocks platelet-derived growth factor-BB–induced SMC phenotypic modulation, proliferation, and migration. Conversely, Olfm2 overexpression inhibits SMC marker expression. Mechanistically, Olfm2 promotes the interaction of serum response factor with the runt-related transcription factor 2 that is induced by platelet-derived growth factor-BB, leading to a decreased interaction between serum response factor and myocardin, causing a repression of SMC marker gene transcription and consequently SMC phenotypic modulation. Animal studies show that Olfm2 is upregulated in balloon-injured rat carotid arteries. Knockdown of Olfm2 effectively inhibits balloon injury–induced neointima formation. Importantly, knockout of Olfm2 in mice profoundly suppresses wire injury–induced neointimal hyperplasia while restoring SMC contractile protein expression, suggesting that Olfm2 plays a critical role in SMC phenotypic modulation in vivo.Conclusions—
Olfm2 is a novel factor mediating SMC phenotypic modulation. Thus, Olfm2 may be a potential target for treating injury-induced proliferative vascular diseases.