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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

mRNA expression of complement components and regulators in rat arterial smooth muscle cells.

The presence of C5b-9 complexes, some complement regulators, and abundant cytokines in atherosclerotic lesions has been reported. However, it is unclear whether these complement-associated proteins are produced by vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and how they are influenced by the cytokines. In the present study, we demonstrated, by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method, the mRNA expression of complement components ( C3, C4, and C5) and membrane regulators (decay-accelerating factor, membrane cofactor protein, Crry, and CD59) in cultured SMCs derived from the rat carotid artery. The expression of C9 mRNA was also induced upon stimulation by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Northern blot analysis showed that the mRNA expression of C3, C4, DAF and Crry was up-regulated, but that of CD59 was down-regulated by IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha and/or LPS alone or by synergy. The increase of C3 mRNA by TNF-alpha or LPS and that of C4 mRNA by IFN-gamma was induced in a dose-dependent manner. The results indicate that the arterial SMCs of rat have the ability to produce complement components and regulators, which is affected by cytokines and/or LPS. Since atherosclerosis is characterized by the intimal proliferation of SMCs, the complement system including its regulators may be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.[1]


  1. mRNA expression of complement components and regulators in rat arterial smooth muscle cells. Li, W., Tada, T., Miwa, T., Okada, N., Ito, J., Okada, H., Tateyama, H., Eimoto, T. Microbiol. Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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