AdipoRon, an adiponectin receptor agonist, attenuates PDGF-induced VSMC proliferation through inhibition of mTOR signaling independent of AMPK: Implications toward suppression of neointimal hyperplasia
Hypoadiponectinemia is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Although adiponectin replenishment mitigates neointimal hyperplasia and atherosclerosis in mouse models, adiponectin therapy has been hampered in a clinical setting due to its large molecular size. Recent studies demonstrate that AdipoRon (a small-molecule adiponectin receptor agonist) improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetic mice and attenuates postischemic cardiac injury in adiponectin-deficient mice, in part, through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). To date, it remains unknown as to whether AdipoRon regulates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, which plays a major role in neointima formation. In the present study, oral administration of AdipoRon (50 mg/kg) in C57BL/6J mice significantly diminished arterial injury-induced neointima formation by ˜57%. Under in vitro conditions, AdipoRon treatment led to significant inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced VSMC proliferation, DNA synthesis, and cyclin D1 expression. While AdipoRon induced a rapid and sustained activation of AMPK, it also diminished basal and PDGF-induced phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream targets, including p70S6K/S6 and 4E-BP1. However, siRNA-mediated AMPK downregulation showed persistent inhibition of p70S6K/S6 and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation, indicating AMPK-independent effects for AdipoRon inhibition of mTOR signaling. In addition, AdipoRon treatment resulted in a sustained and transient decrease in PDGF-induced phosphorylation of Akt and ERK, respectively. Furthermore, PDGF receptor-β tyrosine phosphorylation, which controls the phosphorylation state of Akt and ERK, was diminished upon AdipoRon treatment. Together, the present findings suggest that orally-administered AdipoRon has the potential to limit restenosis after angioplasty by targeting mTOR signaling independent of AMPK activation.