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Urotensin-2 promotes collagen synthesis via ERK1/2-dependent and ERK1/2-independent TGF-β1 in neonatal cardiac fibroblasts


Hong-Yan Dai and Tao He contributed equally to this work.

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U2 (urotensin-2) is the most potent vasoconstrictor in mammals which is involved in cardiac remodelling, including cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac fibrosis. Although the cellular mechanisms of the U2-induced vasoconstriction have been extensively studied, the signalling pathways involved in U2-induced TGF-β1 (transforming growth factor-β1) expression and collagen synthesis remain unclear. In this study, we show that U2 promoted collagen synthesis and ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2) activation in neonatal cardiac fibroblasts. The U2-induced collagen synthesis and TGF-β1 production were significantly but not completely inhibited by blocking ERK1/2. Both ERK1/2 inhibitor and TGF-β1 antibody could separately inhibit U2-induced collagen synthesis, and the synergistic inhibition effect was observed by blocking ERK1/2 and TGF-β1 simultaneously. These data suggest that U2 promotes collagen synthesis via ERK1/2-dependent and independent TGF-β1 pathway in neonatal cardiac fibroblasts.