Cadmium exposure enhances VE-cadherin expression in endothelial cells via suppression of ROCK signaling

Exp Ther Med. 2022 May;23(5):355. doi: 10.3892/etm.2022.11282. Epub 2022 Mar 28.


Vascular endothelium is a target of cadmium (Cd), which is a global pollutant of the environment. However, the detailed effects and underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In the present study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with 0.1, 1, 5, 10, 50 µM cadmium chloride (CdCl2) for 12 h. It was found that vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin mRNA and protein expression was upregulated by Cd in HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. Higher levels of VE-cadherin were detected at cell-to-cell junctions in HUVECs treated with 10 µM CdCl2 compared with normal condition. The phosphorylation level of myosin-binding subunit of myosin phosphatase, a downstream substrate of Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), was reduced by 10 µM CdCl2, suggesting that Cd inhibited the Rho/ROCK pathway. Activation of ROCK by narciclasine reversed the Cd-induced increase of VE-cadherin expression. By contrast, ROCK pathway inhibitor Y27632 increased VE-cadherin expression in HUVECs. Following inhibition of the ROCK pathway, Cd did not significantly alter the level of VE-cadherin. Taken together, the results suggested that Cd exposure enhanced VE-cadherin expression in endothelial cells via suppression of ROCK signaling.

PMID:35481222 | PMC:PMC9016791 | DOI:10.3892/etm.2022.11282


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