School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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Chronic inflammation and persistent oxidative stress contribute to the development and progression of vascular proliferative diseases. We hypothesized that the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17A induces oxidative stress and amplifies inflammatory signaling in human aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) via TRAF3IP2-mediated NLRP3/caspase-1-dependent mitogenic and migratory proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. Further, we hypothesized that these maladaptive changes are prevented by empagliflozin (EMPA), an SGLT2 (Sodium/Glucose Cotransporter 2) inhibitor. Supporting our hypotheses, exposure of cultured SMC to IL-17A promoted proliferation and migration via TRAF3IP2, TRAF3IP2-dependent superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production, NLRP3 expression, caspase-1 activation, and IL-1β and IL-18 secretion. Furthermore, NLRP3 knockdown, caspase-1 inhibition, and pretreatment with IL-1β and IL-18 neutralizing antibodies and IL-18BP, each attenuated IL-17A-induced SMC migration and proliferation. Importantly, SMC express SGLT2, and pre-treatment with EMPA attenuated IL-17A/TRAF3IP2-dependent oxidative stress, NLRP3 expression, caspase-1 activation, IL-1β and IL-18 secretion, and SMC proliferation and migration. Importantly, silencing SGLT2 attenuated EMPA-mediated inhibition of IL-17A-induced cytokine secretion and SMC proliferation and migration. EMPA exerted these beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-mitogenic and anti-migratory effects under normal glucose conditions and without inducing cell death. These results suggest the therapeutic potential of EMPA in vascular proliferative diseases.


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Cellular Signalling



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Mentor/PI Department

Office of Human Genetics



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