cAMP protects endothelial barrier functions by preventing Rac-1 inhibition

J. Waschke, D. Drenckhahn, R. H. Adamson, H. Barth, F. E. Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


cAMP enhances endothelial barrier properties and is protective against various inflammatory mediators both in vivo and in vitro. However, the mechanisms whereby cAMP stabilizes the endothelial barrier are largely unknown. Recently we demonstrated that the Rho family GTPase Rac-1 is required for maintenance of endothelial barrier functions in vivo and in vitro. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effect of forskolin (5 μM)- and rolipram (10 μM)-induced cAMP increase on reduction of barrier functions in response to Rac-1 inhibition by Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (LT). Forskolin and rolipram treatment blocked LT (200 ng/ml)-induced hydraulic conductivity (Lp) increase in mesenteric microvessels in vivo. Likewise, LT-induced intercellular gap formation in monolayers of cultured microvascular myocardial endothelial (My-End) cells and LT-induced loss of adhesion of vascular endothelial cadherin-coated microbeads were abolished. Inhibition of PKA by myristoylated inhibitor peptide (14-22) of PKA (100 μM) reduced the protective effect of cAMP on LT-induced Lp increase in vivo and gap formation in vitro, indicating that the effect of cAMP on Rac-1 inhibition was PKA dependent. Glucosylation assays demonstrated that cAMP prevents inhibitory Rac-1 glucosylation by LT, indicating that one way that cAMP enhances endothelial barrier functions may be by regulating Rac-1 signaling. Our study suggests that cAMP may provide its well-established protective effects at least in part by regulation of Rho proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 56-6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • cAMP-dependent protein kinase
  • Permeability
  • Rho proteins
  • Vascular endothelial cadherin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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