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Cultured arterial smooth muscle cells maintain distinct phenotypes when implanted into carotid artery

Clowes, A. W.
Clowes, M. M.
Fischer, J. W.
Redard, M.
Gabbiani, F.
Published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2001, vol. 21, no. 6, p. 949-954
Abstract Cultured arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) with distinct phenotypic features have been described by several laboratories; however, it is not presently known whether this phenotypic heterogeneity can be maintained within an in vivo environment. To answer this question, we have seeded into the intima of denuded rat carotid artery 2 SMC populations with well-established distinct biological features, ie, spindle-shaped, not growing in the absence of serum, and well differentiated versus epithelioid, growing in the absence of serum, and relatively undifferentiated, derived from the aortic media of newborn rats (aged 4 days) and old rats (aged >18 months), respectively. We show that these 2 populations maintain their distinct biochemical features (ie, expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin, smooth muscle myosin heavy chains, and cellular retinol binding protein-1) in the in vivo environment. The old rat media-derived SMCs continue to produce cellular retinol binding protein-1 but little alpha-smooth muscle actin and smooth muscle myosin heavy chains, whereas the newborn rat media-derived SMCs continue to express alpha-smooth muscle actin and smooth muscle myosin heavy chains but no cellular retinol binding protein-1. Our results reinforce the notion of arterial SMC phenotypic heterogeneity and suggest that in our model, heterogeneity is controlled genetically and not by the local environment.
Keywords Actins/metabolismAnimalsAnimals, NewbornArteries/ cytologyArteriosclerosis/metabolism/surgeryCarotid Artery Injuries/metabolism/ surgeryCells, CulturedMaleMuscle, Smooth, Vascular/metabolism/ transplantationMyosin Heavy Chains/metabolismPhenotypeRatsRats, Inbred F344Retinol-Binding Proteins/metabolismRetinol-Binding Proteins, Cellular
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Other version: http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/21/6/949.pdf
PMID: 11397702
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