Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma ligands inhibit Rho/Rho kinase pathway by inducing protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2.

Shu Wakino, Koichi Hayashi, Takeshi Kanda, Satoru Tatematsu, Koichiro Homma, Kyoko Yoshioka, Ichiro Takamatsu, Takao Saruta

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Although peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) ligands have an antihypertensive effect in vivo, the precise mechanism has not been fully elucidated. We examined their effects on Rho/Rho kinase pathway, a key regulator of vascular tone. In cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMC), Rho kinase stimulated by angiotensin II was suppressed by the pretreatment with pioglitazone and troglitazone, and these effects were explained by the inhibition of the Rho translocation to the cell membrane. We evaluated the role of Vav, a GTP/GDP exchange factor upregulating Rho kinase activity, and Src homology region 2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2 (SHP-2), a protein tyrosine phosphatase that dephosphorylated Vav and subsequently inactivated Rho kinase. Both pioglitazone and troglitazone upregulated SHP-2, particularly in the cytosolic fraction, and the SHP-2-bound Vav, and reduced the phosphorylation of Vav. Furthermore, 4-week treatment with pioglitazone lowered systolic blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and suppressed the Rho/Rho kinase activity in aortic tissues isolated from SHR. Consistently, the expression of SHP-2 was upregulated in vascular tissues from pioglitazone-treated SHR. The phosphorylated Vav was increased in SHR, compared with that in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), which was mitigated by pioglitazone. Finally, both basal and angiotensin II-stimulated levels of Rho kinase activity were greater in RASMC from SHR than those from WKY, and the enhanced Rho kinase activity was blocked by pioglitazone or troglitazone in both strains. Collectively, PPARgamma ligands inhibit the Rho/Rho kinase pathway through upregulation of cytosolic SHP-2 expression and inactivation of Vav, and may contribute to the hemodynamic, in addition to metabolic, action in hypertensive metabolic syndrome. The full text of this article is available online at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e45-55
JournalCirculation research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sept 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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