Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) has been shown to be essential in lots of physiological and pathological processes. It is well known that 5-HT and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) play important roles in the pulmonary artery in pulmonary hypertension. However, little is known about the function of 5-HTT in other arteries. In this study we found that the expression of 5-HTT was elevated in injured carotid arteries and over-expression of 5-HTT induced proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs); however, this phenotype could be reversed by knocking-down of 5-HTT or endothelial cells conditional medium (EC-CM). A 5-HTT inhibitor, fluoxetine, treated animals also exhibited reduced restenosis after injury. We identified that miR-195 was packaged in the extracellular vesicles from EC-CM. We further confirmed that extracellular vesicles could transfer miR-195 from ECs to SMCs to inhibit the expression of 5-HTT in SMCs and the proliferation of SMCs. These results provide the first evidence that ECs communicate with SMCs via micro-RNA195 in the regulation of the proliferation of SMCs through 5-HTT, which will contribute to a better understanding of communications between ECs and SMCs via micro-RNA. Our findings suggest a potential target for the control of vessel restenosis.
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Funding: 973 Project No. 2013CB531206, 973 Project No.
2012CB517803 and NSF No.81170236, No.31127001