MicroRNA-Dependent Control of Serotonin-Induced Pulmonary Arterial Contraction

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Abstract

Background: Serotonin (5-HT) is considered to play a role in pulmonary arterial hypertension by regulating vascular remodeling and smooth muscle contractility. Here, arteries from mice with inducible and smooth muscle-specific deletion of Dicer were used to address mechanisms by which microRNAs control 5-HT-induced contraction. Methods: Mice were used 5 weeks after Dicer deletion, and pulmonary artery contractility was analyzed by wire myography. Results: No change was seen in right ventricular systolic pressure following dicer deletion, but systemic blood pressure was reduced. Enhanced 5-HT-induced contraction in Dicer KO pulmonary arteries was associated with increased 5-HT2A receptor mRNA expression whereas 5-HT1B and 5-HT2B receptor mRNAs were unchanged. Contraction by the 5-HT2A agonist TCB-2 was increased in Dicer KO as was the response to the 5-HT2B agonist BW723C86. Effects of Src and protein kinase C inhibition were similar in control and KO arteries, but the effect of inhibition of Rho kinase was reduced. We identified miR-30c as a potential candidate for 5-HT2A receptor regulation as it repressed 5-HT2A mRNA and protein. Conclusion: Our findings show that 5-HT receptor signaling in the arterial wall is subject to regulation by microRNAs and that this entails altered 5-HT2A receptor expression and signaling.

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