Response of atherosclerotic intimal smooth muscle cells to epidermal growth factor in vitro.
Increased proliferation of intimal smooth muscle cells (SMCs) plays an important role in the early phase of atherogenesis. To investigate growth mechanisms of these cells, we used intimal SMCs from rabbits fed an atherogenic diet and examined the sequential events that may facilitate induction of intimal SMC proliferation as well as the possible effects of growth-promoting factors secreted by these cells. In serum-free medium, epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulated [3H]thymidine uptake by quiescent intimal SMCs at a rate six times higher than quiescent medial SMCs. There was no significant difference between the two cell types in terms of the number of specific EGF receptor per cell, the dissociation constant of EGF, and the time course of EGF binding and internalization. Furthermore, in both types of cells, c-fos, c-jun, and c-myc mRNAs were induced after 1, 1, and 4 hours of EGF treatment, respectively, whereas they required 8 hours of contact with EGF to induce proliferation. Growth response of medical SMCs to EGF was greatly enhanced when rabbit serum, deficient in lipoproteins and free of platelet-derived growth factor, was added to the medium. Moreover, EGF induced a twofold to fourfold increase in DNA synthesis in medial SMCs cocultured with intimal SMCs compared with medial SMCs incubated alone. Likewise, DNA synthesis of medial SMCs grown in medium conditioned by intimal SMCs was six times higher than that observed in medium conditioned by medical SMCs. Adding EGF to the medium conditioned by intimal SMCs increased their DNA synthesis even further.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association