The senescence of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), characterized by the acquisition of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), is relevant for VSMCs osteoblastic differentiation and vascular calcification (VC). MicroRNA-34a (miR-34a) is a driver of such phenomena and could play a role in vascular inflammaging. Herein, we analyzed the relationship between miR-34a and the prototypical SASP component IL6 in in vitro and in vivo models. miR-34a and IL6 levels increased and positively correlated in aortas of 21 months-old male C57BL/6J mice and in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) isolated from donors of different age and undergone senescence. Lentiviral overexpression of miR-34a in HASMCs enhanced IL6 secretion. HASMCs senescence and calcification accelerated after exposure to conditioned medium of miR-34a-overexpressing cells. Analysis of miR-34a-induced secretome revealed enhancement of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL6, pro-senescent growth factors and matrix-degrading molecules. Moreover, induction of aortas medial calcification and concomitant IL6 expression, with an overdose of vitamin D, was reduced in male C57BL/6J Mir34a-/- mice. Finally, a positive correlation was observed between circulating miR-34a and IL6 in healthy subjects of 20-90 years. Hence, the vascular age-associated miR-34a promotes VSMCs SASP activation and contributes to arterial inflammation and dysfunctions such as VC.
Int J Mol Sci
IL6, SASP, VSMCs, inflammaging, senescence, vascular calcification