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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 6893560, 12 pages
Research Article

AM966, an Antagonist of Lysophosphatidic Acid Receptor 1, Increases Lung Microvascular Endothelial Permeability through Activation of Rho Signaling Pathway and Phosphorylation of VE-Cadherin

1Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, Division of Pulmonary, Asthma, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
2Third Affiliated Hospital of Xiangya Medical School, Changsha, Hunan 410013, China
3Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116011, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jing Zhao; ude.cmpu@joahz

Received 30 September 2016; Revised 4 January 2017; Accepted 15 January 2017; Published 27 February 2017

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Valacchi

Copyright © 2017 Junting Cai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Maintenance of pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity is important for reducing severity of lung injury. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) regulates cell motility, cytoskeletal rearrangement, and cell growth. Knockdown of LPA receptor 1 (LPA1) has been shown to mitigate lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis. AM966, an LPA1 antagonist exhibiting an antifibrotic property, has been considered to be a future antifibrotic medicine. Here, we report an unexpected effect of AM966, which increases lung endothelial barrier permeability. An electric cell-substrate sensing (ECIS) system was used to measure permeability in human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs). AM966 decreased the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) value immediately in a dose-dependent manner. VE-cadherin and f-actin double immunostaining reveals that AM966 increases stress fibers and gap formation between endothelial cells. AM966 induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) through activation of RhoA/Rho kinase pathway. Unlike LPA treatment, AM966 had no effect on phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erk). Further, in LPA1 silencing cells, we observed that AM966-increased lung endothelial permeability as well as phosphorylation of VE-cadherin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were attenuated. This study reveals that AM966 induces lung endothelial barrier dysfunction, which is regulated by LPA1-mediated activation of RhoA/MLC and phosphorylation of VE-cadherin.