Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B

, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 623–629 | Cite as

Effect of serum concentration on adhesion of monocytic THP-1 cells onto cultured EC monolayer and EC-SMC co-culture

  • Li-jie Fan
  • Takeshi Karino



The adhesion of monocytes to the endothelium following accumulation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in subendothelial spaces is an important step in the development of intimal hyperplasia in arterially implanted vein grafts and atherosclerosis in both animals and humans. However, it is not well known how serum factors affect the adhesion of monocytes.


We have studied the effect of fetal calf serum (FCS), which we considered a source of LDL, on the adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cells (ECs) by using human monocytic THP-1 cells and both a monolayer of cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (EC monoculture) and a co-culture with bovine aortic smooth muscle cells (EC-SMC co-culture).


It was found that the addition of FCS to the medium greatly affected the adhesion of THP-1 cells, and the higher the concentration of FCS in the medium, the greater the adhesion of THP-1 cells to endothelial cells. Adhesion of THP-1 cells to an EC-SMC co-culture was approximately twofold greater than that to an EC monoculture, and after adhering to endothelial cells, many THP-1 cells transmigrated into the layer of smooth muscle cells.


The results suggest that the elevation of the LDL (cholesterol) level in blood provides a favorable condition for the development of intimal hyperplasia and atherosclerosis by promoting the adhesion of monocytes to the endothelium and their subsequent migration into subendothelial spaces.

Key words

Endothelial cells (ECs) Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) Monocyte THP-1 cells Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Adhesion Transendothelial migration Serum concentration 

CLC number



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Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Biofluid Dynamics, Research Institute for Electronic ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Stomatology, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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