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

Smooth muscle cell expression of extracellular matrix genes after arterial injury.

Accumulation of extracellular matrix ( ECM) after arterial injury is an important event in the development of intimal thickening and is modulated by heparin. To investigate the regulation of matrix protein expression, we have analyzed messenger RNA levels by Northern blotting for various ECM proteins in the rat carotid artery balloon injury model. RNA was extracted from normal arteries and from intima-medial preparations at 2 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after balloon injury of arteries in animals receiving either saline or heparin infusion. Transcripts for the heparan sulfate proteoglycans perlecan, syndecan, and ryudocan; the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan versican; the dermatan sulfate proteoglycan biglycan; type I procollagen; and tropoelastin all were increased on Northern blots beginning at 1 week after injury. By in situ hybridization, the transcripts for elastin nd biglycan were primarily localized to smooth muscle cells in the intima and were diminished by heparin in proportion to the decrease in intimal mass. Other matrix genes (perlecan, ryudocan) were expressed in the intima and media and were not affected by heparin. The results support the conclusion that ECM gene expression is a relatively late event in the response of the carotid artery, and that some of the genes are expressed only in the intima whereas others are expressed in both the intima and media.[1]


  1. Smooth muscle cell expression of extracellular matrix genes after arterial injury. Nikkari, S.T., Järveläinen, H.T., Wight, T.N., Ferguson, M., Clowes, A.W. Am. J. Pathol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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