The KPs (kisspeptins) are a family of multifunctional peptides with established roles in cancer metastasis, puberty and vasoconstriction. The effects of KPs on endothelial cells have yet to be determined. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of KP-10 on endothelial cell growth and the mechanisms underlying those effects. The administration of recombinant KP-10 into the hindlimbs of rats with ischaemia significantly impaired blood flow recovery, as shown by laser Doppler, and capillary growth, as shown using histology, compared with the controls. HUVECs (human umbilical vein endothelial cells) express the KP receptor and were treated with KP-10 in culture studies. KP-10 inhibited endothelial cell tube formation and proliferation in a significant and dose-dependent manner. The HUVECs treated with KP exhibited the senescent phenotype, as determined using a senescence-associated β-galactosidase assay, cell morphology analysis, and decreased Sirt1 (sirtuin 1) expression and increased p53 expression shown by Western blot analysis. Intriguingly, a pharmacological Rho kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, was found to increase the proliferation of HUVECs and to reduce the number of senescent phenotype cells affected by KP-10. In conclusion, KP-10 suppressed endothelial cells growth both in vivo and in vitro in the present study. The adverse effect of KP on endothelial cells was attributable, at least in part, to the induction of cellular senescence.

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