Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) is an important hormone in cardiovascular biology. It is activated by the protease corin. In pregnancy, ANP and corin promote uterine spiral artery remodeling, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Here we report an ANP function in uterine decidualization and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand–dependent (TRAIL-dependent) death in spiral arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). In ANP- or corin-deficient mice, uterine decidualization markers and TRAIL expression were decreased, whereas in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs), ANP increased decidualization and TRAIL expression. In uterine spiral arteries from pregnant wild-type mice, SMC and EC loss occurred sequentially before trophoblast invasion. In culture, TRAIL from decidualized HESCs induced apoptosis in uterine SMCs, but not in ECs with low TRAIL receptor expression. Subsequently, cyclophilin B was identified from apoptotic SMCs that upregulated endothelial TRAIL receptor and caused apoptosis in ECs. These results indicate that ANP promotes decidualization and TRAIL expression in endometrial stromal cells, contributing to sequential events in remodeling of spiral arteries, including SMC death and cyclophilin B release, which in turn induces TRAIL receptor expression and apoptosis in ECs.
Wei Zhang, Shuo Li, Jinglei Lou, Hui Li, Meng Liu, Ningzheng Dong, Qingyu Wu