Adenosine A1 Receptors Link to Smooth Muscle Contraction Via CYP4a, protein kinase C-α, and ERK1/2

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Abstract

Adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR) activation contracts smooth muscle, although signaling mechanisms are not thoroughly understood. Activation of A1AR leads to metabolism of arachidonic acid, including the production of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) by cytochrome P4504a (CYP4a). The 20-HETE can activate protein kinase C-α (PKC-α), which crosstalks with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway. Both these pathways can regulate smooth muscle contraction, we tested the hypothesis that A1AR contracts smooth muscle through a pathway involving CYP4a, PKC-α, and ERK1/2. Experiments included isometric tension recordings of aortic contraction and Western blots of signaling molecules in wild type (WT) and A1AR knockout (A1KO) mice. Contraction to the A1-selective agonist 2-chloro-N cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA) was absent in A1KO mice aortae, indicating the contractile role of A1AR. Inhibition of CYP4a (HET0016) abolished 2-chloro-N cyclopentyladenosine–induced contraction in WT aortae, indicating a critical role for 20-HETE. Both WT and A1KO mice aortae contracted in response to exogenous 20-HETE. Inhibition of PKC-α (Gö6976) or ERK1/2 (PD98059) attenuated 20-HETE–induced contraction equally, suggesting that ERK1/2 is downstream of PKC-α. Contractions to exogenous 20-HETE were significantly less in A1KO mice; reduced protein levels of PKC-α, p-ERK1/2, and total ERK1/2 supported this observation. Our data indicate that A1AR mediates smooth muscle contraction via CYP4a and a PKC-α–ERK1/2 pathway.

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