Background:Dkk3 (Dickkopf-3) is a secreted glycoprotein known for its proapoptotic and angiogenic activity. The role of Dkk3 in cardiovascular homeostasis is largely unknown. Remarkably, the Dkk3 gene maps within a chromosome segment linked to the hypertensive phenotype in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Methods:We used Dkk3(-/-) mice or stroke-resistant (sr) and stroke-prone (sp) SHR to examine the role of Dkk3 in the central and peripheral regulation of blood pressure (BP). We used lentiviral expression vector to rescue Dkk3 in knockout mice or to induce Dkk3 overexpression or silencing in SHR. Results:Genetic deletion of Dkk3 in mice enhanced BP and impaired endothelium-dependent acetylcholine-induced relaxation of resistance arteries. These alterations were rescued by restoring Dkk3 expression either in the periphery or in the central nervous system (CNS). Dkk3 was required for the constitutive expression of VEGF (vascular endothelium growth factor), and the action of Dkk3 on BP and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was mediated by VEGF-stimulated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathway, leading to eNOS (endothelial NO synthase) activation both in resistance arteries and the CNS. The regulatory function of Dkk3 on BP was confirmed in SHR stroke-resistant and SHR stroke-prone in which was blunted in both resistance arteries and brainstem. In SHR stroke-resistant, lentiviral expression vector-induced Dkk3 expression in the CNS largely reduced BP, whereas Dkk3 knock-down further enhanced BP. In SHR stroke-prone challenged with a hypersodic diet, lentiviral expression vector-induced Dkk3 expression in the CNS displayed a substantial antihypertensive effect and delayed the occurrence of stroke. Conclusions:These findings demonstrate that Dkk3 acts as peripheral and central regulator of BP by promoting VEGF expression and activating a VEGF/Akt (protein kinase B)/eNOS hypotensive axis.

Role of Dickkopf-3 in Blood Pressure Regulation in Mice and Hypertensive Rats

Carrizzo, Albino;Di Pietro, Paola;Ciccarelli, Michele;Vecchione, Carmine
Conceptualization
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background:Dkk3 (Dickkopf-3) is a secreted glycoprotein known for its proapoptotic and angiogenic activity. The role of Dkk3 in cardiovascular homeostasis is largely unknown. Remarkably, the Dkk3 gene maps within a chromosome segment linked to the hypertensive phenotype in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Methods:We used Dkk3(-/-) mice or stroke-resistant (sr) and stroke-prone (sp) SHR to examine the role of Dkk3 in the central and peripheral regulation of blood pressure (BP). We used lentiviral expression vector to rescue Dkk3 in knockout mice or to induce Dkk3 overexpression or silencing in SHR. Results:Genetic deletion of Dkk3 in mice enhanced BP and impaired endothelium-dependent acetylcholine-induced relaxation of resistance arteries. These alterations were rescued by restoring Dkk3 expression either in the periphery or in the central nervous system (CNS). Dkk3 was required for the constitutive expression of VEGF (vascular endothelium growth factor), and the action of Dkk3 on BP and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was mediated by VEGF-stimulated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathway, leading to eNOS (endothelial NO synthase) activation both in resistance arteries and the CNS. The regulatory function of Dkk3 on BP was confirmed in SHR stroke-resistant and SHR stroke-prone in which was blunted in both resistance arteries and brainstem. In SHR stroke-resistant, lentiviral expression vector-induced Dkk3 expression in the CNS largely reduced BP, whereas Dkk3 knock-down further enhanced BP. In SHR stroke-prone challenged with a hypersodic diet, lentiviral expression vector-induced Dkk3 expression in the CNS displayed a substantial antihypertensive effect and delayed the occurrence of stroke. Conclusions:These findings demonstrate that Dkk3 acts as peripheral and central regulator of BP by promoting VEGF expression and activating a VEGF/Akt (protein kinase B)/eNOS hypotensive axis.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4837553
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