Tissue factor (TF) is the initiator of the coagulation cascade, constitutively expressed in subendothelial cells such as vascular smooth muscle cells and initiating rapid coagulation when the vascular vessel is damaged. TF has been shown to be involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Arsenic, an environmental pollutant, is related to the progression of atherosclerosis, although the pathogenic mechanisms are not fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effect of arsenite on the expression of TF in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that (1) arsenite stimulated TF synthesis and activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway in HASMCs, (2) sulforaphane, an Nrf2 activator, also stimulated TF synthesis in HASMCs, and (3) arsenite-induced upregulation of TF synthesis was prevented by Nrf2 knockdown in HASMCs. These results suggest that arsenite promotes TF synthesis by activating the Nrf2 pathway in HASMCs and that the induction of TF expression by arsenite may be related to the progression of atherosclerosis.
- Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2
- Tissue factor
- Vascular smooth muscle cell