Apelin/APJ axis improves angiotensin II-induced endothelial cell senescence through AMPK/SIRT1 signaling pathway
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Submission date: 2017-07-15
Final revision date: 2017-08-22
Acceptance date: 2017-09-03
Online publication date: 2017-09-26
Publication date: 2018-06-19
Arch Med Sci 2018;14(4):725–734
Previous studies have shown that endothelial cell senescence is involved in cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac fibrosis, atherosclerosis and heart failure. Accumulating evidence indicates that apelin exerts protective effects on ageing-related endothelial dysfunction. In this study, we aim to investigate the role of the apelin/APJ axis in angiotensin II (AngII)-induced endothelium senescence and its associated mechanisms.

Material and methods:
Senescence-related β-gal activity assay and western blot were used to evaluate human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) senescence. In addition, DCFH-DA staining was carried out to detect the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A validated, high-sensitivity real-time quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol (RQ-TRAP) was applied to determine telomerase activity in HUVECs, and a CCK-8 assay was employed to measure cellular viability.

AngII induced an increase in SA-β-Gal-positive cells and upregulation on expression of P21 and PAI-1 compared to the control group (p < 0.05), while apelin against this process (p < 0.05). The protective effects were attenuated when APJ, AMPK and SIRT1 expression was knocked down (p < 0.05). Furthermore, apelin reduced AngII-induced ROS generation and enhanced telomerase activity in HUVECs (p < 0.05), which contributed to increased HUVEC viability as assessed by the CCK-8 assay (p < 0.05).

The apelin/APJ axis improved AngII-induced HUVEC senescence via the AMPK/SIRT1 signaling pathway, and the underlying mechanisms might be associated with reduced ROS production and enhanced telomerase activity.