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Upregulation of Nox4 in the aging vasculature and its association with smooth muscle cell polyploidy.

McCrann D.J., Yang D., Chen H., Carroll S., Ravid K.

Our recent reports indicated that polyploidization of aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) serves as a biomarker for aging, and that the polyploid state is linked to a higher incidence of senescence in vivo. Here, we found that NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) expression is augmented in VSMC from aortas of old rats and that Nox4 levels are increased in polyploid VSMC in comparison to diploid cells in vivo. Seeking to determine if Nox4 upregulation plays a causal role in the accumulation of polyploid cells, we performed ploidy analysis on primary VSMC transduced with Nox4 adenovirus. We observed a consistent accumulation of polyploid cells and a concomitant decrease in the percentage of diploid cells in Nox4 overexpressing cells in comparison to controls or to cells overexpressing dominant negative Nox4. Further exploration of this phenomenon in VSMC cultures identified a Nox4-induced decrease in the chromosome passenger protein, survivin, whose absence and mislocalization during polyploidization was previously shown to induce VSMC polyploidy. Taken together, our study is the first to show increased Nox4 levels in VSMC during aging, and to demonstrate its role in induction of polyploidy in this lineage.

Cell Cycle 8:902-908(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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