Author(s): Kapustin AN, Shanahan CM
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Abstract Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic conversion from a contractile to 'synthetic' state contributes to vascular pathologies including restenosis, atherosclerosis and vascular calcification. We have recently found that the secretion of exosomes is a feature of 'synthetic' VSMCs and that exosomes are novel players in vascular repair processes as well as pathological vascular thrombosis and calcification. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors as well as mineral imbalance stimulate exosome secretion by VSMCs, most likely by the activation of sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 3 (SMPD3) and cytoskeletal remodelling. Calcium stress induces dramatic changes in VSMC exosome composition and accumulation of phosphatidylserine (PS), annexin A6 and matrix metalloproteinase-2, which converts exosomes into a nidus for calcification. In addition, by presenting PS, VSMC exosomes can also provide the catalytic surface for the activation of coagulation factors. Recent data showing that VSMC exosomes are loaded with proteins and miRNA regulating cell adhesion and migration highlight VSMC exosomes as potentially important communication messengers in vascular repair. Thus, the identification of signalling pathways regulating VSMC exosome secretion, including activation of SMPD3 and cytoskeletal rearrangements, opens up novel avenues for a deeper understanding of vascular remodelling processes. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.
This article was published in J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases & Diagnosis