Differential stimulation of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells proliferation is responsible for atherosclerotic lesions. Amino acids and insulin modulate p70S6k and 4E-BP1 activity, regulating cell growth and proliferation. We hypothesised that nutritional (amino acids) and hormonal (insulin) signals differently modulate protein anabolism in human vascular endothelial (HUVEC) and smooth muscle (HVSMC) cells. We evaluated p70S6kinase and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in the two cell types, grown in amino acid-free medium with or without insulin (INS, 100 nM) or/and amino acids mixture (AA, 3 mM) and with the selective addition or deprivation of branched chain amino acids (BCAA, 0.5 mM). INS stimulated p70S6k and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation transiently in HUVEC and persistently in HVSMC. AA and INS+AA stimulated p70S6k and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation persistently in HUVEC and HVSMC. AA, but not BCAA alone or BCAA-deprived AA, induced p70S6k phosphorylation in HUVEC. BCAA deprivation decreased the p70S6k phosphorylation induced by AA with or without insulin in HVSMC. These results show that anabolic stimuli modulate p70S6k and 4E-BP1 activity differently in the two vascular cell types, suggesting that insulin stimulates protein synthesis for a longer time in HUSMC than in HUVEC. We speculate that hyperinsulinaemia frequently associated with atherosclerosis could induce a selective HVSMC proliferation.
- Amino acids
- Human vascular cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Internal Medicine