AdipoRon, an adiponectin receptor agonist, attenuates PDGF-induced VSMC proliferation through inhibition of mTOR signaling independent of AMPK: Implications toward suppression of neointimal hyperplasia

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Abstract

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.

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