Adenosine Attenuates Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation by Inhibiting Multiple Signaling Pathways That Converge on Cyclin D

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The goal of this study was to determine whether and how adenosine affects the proliferation of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs). In HCASMCs, 2-chloroadenosine (stable adenosine analogue), but not N6-cyclopentyladenosine, CGS21680, or N6-(3-iodobenzyl)-adenosine-5′-N-methyluronamide, inhibited HCASMC proliferation (A2B receptor profile). 2-Chloroadenosine increased cAMP, reduced phosphorylation (activation) of ERK and Akt (protein kinases known to increase cyclin D expression and activity, respectively), and reduced levels of cyclin D1 (cyclin that promotes cell-cycle progression in G1). Moreover, 2-chloroadenosine inhibited expression of S-phase kinase–associated protein-2 (Skp2; promotes proteolysis of p27Kip1) and upregulated levels of p27Kip1 (cell-cycle regulator that impairs cyclin D function). 2-Chloroadenosine also inhibited signaling downstream of cyclin D, including hyperphosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein and expression of cyclin A (S phase cyclin). Knockdown of A2B receptors prevented the effects of 2-chloroadenosine on ERK1/2, Akt, Skp2, p27Kip1, cyclin D1, cyclin A, and proliferation. Likewise, inhibition of adenylyl cyclase and protein kinase A abrogated 2-chloroadenosine’s inhibitory effects on Skp2 and stimulatory effects on p27Kip1 and rescued HCASMCs from 2-chloroadenosine–mediated inhibition. Knockdown of p27Kip1 also reversed the inhibitory effects of 2-chloroadenosine on HCASMC proliferation. In vivo, peri-arterial (rat carotid artery) 2-chloroadenosine (20 μmol/L for 7 days) downregulated vascular expression of Skp2, upregulated vascular expression of p27Kip1, and reduced neointima hyperplasia by 71% (P<0.05; neointimal thickness: control, 37 424±18 371 pixels; treated, 10 352±2824 pixels). In conclusion, the adenosine/A2B receptor/cAMP/protein kinase A axis inhibits HCASMC proliferation by blocking multiple signaling pathways (ERK1/2, Akt, and Skp2) that converge at cyclin D, a key G1 cyclin that controls cell-cycle progression.

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