Cultures of Proliferating Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells from Adult Human Aorta

  • Heide L. Kirschenlohr
  • James C. Metcalfe
  • David J. Grainger
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine book series (MIMM, volume 2)


Abnormal proliferation of human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMCs) is a central event in the development of atherosclerosis (1, 2, 3) As a result, there is considerable interest in the establishment of hVSMC cultures as a mode1 of this disease process However, it has been noted in the past (4,5) that hVSMCs, especially when cultured by the enzyme-dispersal technique (hVSMC,ED), grow poorly in culture compared to VSMCs from other species (e.g., rat) This has limited their use for cell-culture studies. We have recently reported that the reduced proliferative capacity of hVSMCED from adult aorta can be attributed to the endogenous production of active TGF-β(6,7). We (6, 7, 8) and others (9, 10, 11) have shown that TGF-β; is a potent inhibtior of smooth muscle cell proliferation. Moreover, recent studies in animal models of atherosclerosis (12) have suggested that TGF-P plays a pivotal role in regulation of vessel wall architecture (13). We have also shown that hVSMCs derived by the alternative method of explanting (hVSMCEX) have a greater proliferative capacity than the hVSMCED (14) In accordance with our hypotheses, the cells grown from explanted tissue did not produce TGF-β; (14).


Glycerol EDTA Penicillin Bicarbonate Glutamine 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heide L. Kirschenlohr
    • 1
  • James C. Metcalfe
    • 1
  • David J. Grainger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of CambridgeUK

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