Intermedin (IMD) protects rodent heart and vasculature from oxidative stress and ischaemia. Less is known about distribution of IMD and its receptors and the potential for similar protection in man. Expression of IMD and receptor components were studied in human aortic endothelium cells (HAECs), smooth muscle cells (HASMCs), cardiac microvascular endothelium cells (HMVECs) and fibroblasts (v-HCFs). Receptor subtype involvement in protection by IMD against injury by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 1 mmol l?¹) and simulated ischaemia and reperfusion were investigated using receptor component-specific siRNAs. IMD and CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 were expressed in all cell types.When cells were treated with 1 nmol l?¹ IMD during exposure to 1 mmol l?¹ H2O2 for 4 h, viability was greater vs. H2O2 alone (P<0.05 for all cell types). Viabilities under 6 h simulated ischaemia differed (P<0.05) in the absence and presence of 1 nmol l?¹ IMD: HAECs 63% and 85%; HMVECs 51% and 68%; v-HCFs 42% and 96%. IMD 1 nmol l?¹ present throughout ischaemia (3 h) and reperfusion (1 h) attenuated injury (P<0.05): viabilities were 95%, 74% and 82% for HAECs, HMVECs and v-HCFs, respectively, relative to those in the absence of IMD (62%, 35%, 32%, respectively). When IMD 1 nmol l?¹ was present during reperfusion only, protection was still evident (P<0.05, 79%, 55%, 48%, respectively). Cytoskeletal disruption and protein carbonyl formation followed similar patterns. Pre-treatment (4 days) of HAECs with CRLR or RAMP2, but not RAMP1 or RAMP3, siRNAs abolished protection by IMD (1 nmol l?¹) against ischaemia-reperfusion injury. IMD protects human vascular and cardiac non-vascular cells from oxidative stress and ischaemia-reperfusion,predominantly via AM1 receptors.
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