Mechanisms of nifedipine-downregulated CD40L/sCD40L signaling in collagen stimulated human platelets

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The platelet-derived soluble CD40L (sCD40L) release plays a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis. Nifedipine, a dihydropyridine-based L-type calcium channel blocker (CCB), has been reported to have an anti-atherosclerotic effect beyond its blood pressure-lowering effect, but the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The present study was designed to investigate whether nifedipine affects sCD40L release from collagen-stimulated human platelets and to determine the potential role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/-γ (PPAR-β/-γ). We found that treatment with nifedipine significantly inhibited the platelet surface CD40L expression and sCD40L release in response to collagen, while the inhibition was markedly reversed by blocking PPAR-β/-γ activity with specific antagonist such as GSK0660 and GW9662. Meanwhile, nifedipine also enhanced nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP formation in a PPAR-β/-γ-dependent manner. When the NO/cyclic GMP pathway was suppressed, nifedipine-mediated inhibition of sCD40L release was abolished significantly. Collagen-induced phosphorylation of p38MAPK, ERK1/2 and HSP27, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression/activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation were significantly inhibited by nifedipine, whereas these alterations were all attenuated by co-treatment with PPAR-β/-γ antagonists. Collectively, these results demonstrate that PPAR-β/-γ-dependent pathways contribute to nifedipine-mediated downregulation of CD40L/sCD40L signaling in activated platelets through regulation of NO/ p38MAPK/ERK1/2/HSP27/MMP-2 signalings and provide a novel mechanism regarding the anti-atherosclerotic effect of nifedipine.




Chen, T. H., Shih, C. Y., Hsu, W. L., & Chou, T. C. (2015). Mechanisms of nifedipine-downregulated CD40L/sCD40L signaling in collagen stimulated human platelets. PLoS ONE, 10(5).

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