Indexed on: 06 May '08Published on: 06 May '08Published in: European Journal of Pharmacology
20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE), a omega-hydroxylation product of arachidonic acid catalyzed by cytochrome P450 4A (CYP4A), plays a role in vascular smooth muscle remodeling. Although its effects on angiogenic responses are known, it remains unclear whether 20-HETE acts on apoptosis of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC), an important step in PASMC remodeling, and what pathways are involved in the process. Here we show evidence for the missing information. The effect of 20-HETE on PASMC apoptosis and the apoptosis-associated signaling pathways were determined with cell viability assay, Annexin V and propidium idodide binding, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL), mitochondrial potentials assay, caspase activity assay and Western blots. We found that exogenous 20-HETE suppressed the serum deprivation-induced loss of bovine PASMCs and prevented Annexin V binding, DNA nick end labeling and chromatin condensation. The effect was worsened by 17-octadecynoic acid (17-ODYA), which inhibited the production of endogenous 20-HETE. Furthermore, 20-HETE induced the expression of bcl-2, maintained the stability of mitochondria membrane, and relieved the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. Such effects were reversed in the presence of 17-ODYA. Thus, these findings indicate that 20-HETE protects PASMCs against apoptosis by acting on, at least in part, the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.