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Pulmonary Pharmacology

5-Hydroxytryptamine-induced proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells are extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway dependent



To investigate the effect of 5-hydroxytryptamine transporter (5-HTT) inhibitor fluoxetine and antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) to extracelluar signalregulated kinases (ERKs) on pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) proliferation induced by 5-HT.


Liposomal transfection was used to introduce ODNs to ERK1/2 into cultured rat PASMCs and the transfection efficiency was measured by observing the uptake of the fluorecein isothiocynate (FITC)-labeled antisense ODN in PASMCs. The effects of 5-HTT selective inhibitor fluoxetine and ODNs on the proliferation of PASMCs were evaluated by cell number counting and cell cycle analysis, and measured by microculture tetrazolium (MTT) assay and flow cytometry (FCM), respectively.


Liposomes mediated the transfection of ODNs into PASMCs with high efficiency. MTT assay showed fluoxetine (10 μmol/L, 1 μmol/L, and 100 nmol/L) concentration dependently inhibited the proliferation of PASMCs induced by 5-HT (1 μmol/L) in vitro. The proliferation rate of PASMCs by 5-HT was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with ERK1/2 antisense ODN (0.2 μmol/L) from 251%±18% to 86%±5% (P<0.01). Flow cytometric analysis of cell cycle distribution showed that the increase of 5-HT induced S phase fraction (SPF) and proliferation index (PI) were significantly inhibited by fluoxetine (1 μmol/L) or antisense ODN with SPF from 36%±4% to 26%±3% and 24%±4%, and PI from 34%±2% to 29%±2% and 24%±2%, respectively.


5-HTT mediates the mitogenic effect of 5-HT on PASMCs and the proliferation of PASMCs induced by 5-HT is dependent on ERKs signal pathway.


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Author information

Correspondence to Huai-liang Wang.

Additional information

Project supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 0271510) and the Science and Technology Committee of China (No 9690105274).

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About this article


  • antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • serotonin
  • membrane transport proteins
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • vascular smooth muscle
  • fluoxetine
  • mitogen-activated protein kinases

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