The formyl peptide receptor (FPR) family are a group of G-protein coupled receptors that play an important role in the regulation of inflammatory processes. It is well-established that activation of FPRs can have cardioprotective properties. Recently, more stable small-molecule FPR1/2 agonists have been described, including both Compound 17b (Cmpd17b) and Compound 43 (Cmpd43). Both agonists activate a range of signals downstream of FPR1/2 activation in human-engineered FPR-expressing cells, including ERK1/2 and Akt. Importantly, Cmpd17b (but not Cmpd43) favours bias away from intracellular Ca2+ mobilisation in this context, which has been associated with greater cardioprotection in response to Cmpd17b over Cmpd43. However, it is unknown whether these FPR agonists impact vascular physiology and/or elicit vasoprotective effects in the context of diabetes. First, we localized FPR1 and FPR2 receptors predominantly in vascular smooth muscle cells in the aortae of male C57BL/6 mice. We then analysed the vascular effects of Cmpd17b and Cmpd43 on the aorta using wire-myography. Cmpd17b but not Cmpd43 evoked a concentration-dependent relaxation of the mouse aorta. Removal of the endothelium or blockade of endothelium-derived relaxing factors using pharmacological inhibitors had no effect on Cmpd17b-evoked relaxation, demonstrating that its direct vasodilator actions were endothelium-independent. In aortae primed with elevated K+ concentration, increasing concentrations of CaCl2 evoked concentration-dependent contraction that is abolished by Cmpd17b, suggesting the involvement of the inhibition of Ca2+ mobilisation via voltage-gated calcium channels. Treatment with Cmpd17b for eight weeks reversed endothelial dysfunction in STZ-induced diabetic aorta through the upregulation of vasodilator prostanoids. Our data indicate that Cmpd17b is a direct endothelium-independent vasodilator, and a vasoprotective molecule in the context of diabetes.
- Compound 17b
- Endothelial dysfunction