Proliferation of pulmonary fibroblasts (PF) and distal migration of smooth muscle cells (PSM) are hallmarks of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Intermedin/adrenomedullin-2 (IMD/AM2) belongs to the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP)/Adrenomedullin (AM) superfamily. These peptides act via Calcitonin-Like Receptors (CLR) combined with one of three Receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs). IMD/AM2 is a potent pulmonary vasodilator in animal studies. The aim was to describe expression of IMD/AM2, AM and receptor components in human pulmonary vascular cells and to elucidate effects of IMD/AM2 on human PSM migration and PF proliferation. Gene expression was detected by immunofluorescence, immunoblotting and qRT-PCR. Normotension and hypertension were simulated by applying pulsatile mechanical stretch (Flexcell® apparatus). Viable cell numbers were determined by dye exclusion. PSM chemotaxis was measured via Dunn chamber. IMD/AM2 protein was co-expressed with AM and their receptor components in pulmonary artery and microvascular endothelial (PAEC, PMVEC) and non-endothelial cells (PF, PSM), and localised to vesicles. IMD/AM2 was secreted under basal conditions, most abundantly from PF and PMVEC. Secretion from PF and PSM was enhanced by stretch. IMD/AM2 mRNA expression increased in response to hypertensive stretch of PSM. IMD/AM2 inhibited PDGF (10-7 M)-mediated PSM migration maximally at 3 x 10-10 M and PF proliferation maximally at 3x10-9 M. Angiotensin II (5 x10-8 M), normotensive and hypertensive stretch augmented PF proliferation. IMD/AM2 (10-9 M) abolished the proliferative effects of Angiotensin II and normotensive stretch and attenuated the proliferative effect of hypertensive stretch alone and combined with angiotensin II. These findings indicate an important counter-regulatory role for IMD/AM2 in PAH.
- smooth muscle