RhoA has been shown to play a major role in vascular processes and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is known to exert a cytoprotective effect via multiple mechanisms. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the effect of aspirin on RhoA expression under a stress state in rat VSMCs (vascular smooth muscle cells) and the underlying mechanisms. The expression of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) and iNOS activity as well as NO concentration was significantly promoted by LPS (lipopolysaccharide) accompanying the elevation of RhoA expression, which was blocked by the addition of the iNOS inhibitor L-NIL [L-N6-(1-iminoethyl)lysine dihydrochloride]. Aspirin (30 μM) significantly attenuated the elevation of RhoA, while indomethacin and salicylate had no similar effect. The sGC (soluble guanylate cyclase) inhibitor ODQ (1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one) showed the same effect as aspirin in down-regulating RhoA but was reversed by the addition of the cGMP analogue 8-Br-PET-cGMP (β-phenyl-1,N2-ethano-8-bromoguanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphorothioate). 8-Br-PET-cGMP solely enhanced the RhoA expression that was abrogated by preincubation with aspirin. Degradation analysis indicated that aspirin enhanced the protein degradation rate of RhoA and GDP-bound RhoA seemed to be more susceptible to aspirin-enhanced degradation compared with the GTP-bound form. Our results indicate that aspirin attenuates the LPS-induced overexpression of RhoA both by inhibiting new synthesis and accelerating protein degradation, which may help elucidate the multiple beneficial effects of aspirin.

You do not currently have access to this content.