OBJECTIVES: An increased blood pressure can elicit remodeling of the cardiovascular system. Experimental data have implicated gp130, a subunit of the receptor for interleukin-6 (IL-6)-related cytokines, in the regulation of proliferation and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Here, we investigate whether serum soluble gp130 concentrations correlate with blood pressure in humans, whether gp130 expression in the aorta differs between hypertensive and control rats, and whether angiotensin II or endothelin regulate gp130 expression in human VSMC. METHODS: We measured serum concentrations of soluble gp130, IL-6, the soluble IL-6 receptor, and the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery in stroke patients (n = 48) and in elderly controls (n = 48). Furthermore, soluble gp130 levels were measured in young controls (n = 200). Expression of gp130 in Wistar-Kyoto (n = 12), spontaneously hypertensive rats (n = 12), and human VSMC was detected by real-time reverse transcription-PCR and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Soluble gp130 serum concentrations correlated with blood pressure in stroke patients and in elderly and young controls and with the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery in stroke patients. The hypothesis that elevated soluble gp130 derives from the vascular system was supported by the enhanced expression of gp130 in the aortic wall of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Furthermore, treatment of human VSMC with angiotensin II stimulated gp130 expression. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that soluble gp130 serum concentrations are correlated with blood pressure and may reflect vascular remodeling in response to arterial hypertension.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)