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Plasminogen activator expression in rat arterial smooth muscle cells depends on their phenotype and is modulated by cytokines

Published in Circulation Research. 1998, vol. 82, no. 10, p. 1086-1093
Abstract Cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs) exhibit at least 2 phenotypic variants: (1) a spindle-shaped phenotype, obtained from normal adult media, and (2) an epithelioid phenotype, obtained from intimal thickening 15 days after endothelial injury. Both phenotypes can be cloned from each location, with normal media yielding a majority of spindle-shaped clones and intimal thickening yielding a majority of epithelioid clones. These findings suggest that intimal thickening develops essentially from a subpopulation of medial SMCs exhibiting epithelioid features in vitro. Using zymographic and Northern blot analyses, we have studied plasminogen activator (PA) expression by these SMCs. Our results show that epithelioid SMCs, cultured as whole SMC populations or as clones, display higher PA activity than do spindle-shaped SMCs, irrespective of their origin. This is mainly due to differences in the expression of tissue PA and, to a lesser extent, urokinase PA and is accompanied by a decrease in PA inhibitor 1. Tissue PA activity is increased by basic fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor-BB, particularly in epithelioid SMCs. Taken together, these results indicate that SMCs are heterogeneous with respect to their proteolytic profile, at least as far as the PA system is concerned. Proteolytic activity of the different SMC populations is modulated by cytokines that play a role in intimal thickening. Our results are in agreement with the suggestion that epithelioid SMCs are mainly responsible for intimal thickening.
Keywords AnimalsCells, CulturedCytokines/ pharmacologyFibroblast Growth Factor 2/pharmacologyMuscle, Smooth, Vascular/drug effects/ metabolismPhenotypePlasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/pharmacologyPlasminogen Activators/ biosynthesisPlatelet-Derived Growth Factor/pharmacologyRatsTransforming Growth Factor beta/pharmacologyTransforming Growth Factors/pharmacology
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Other version: http://circres.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/82/10/1086.pdf
PMID: 9622161
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