Heterogeneity in smooth muscle cell population accumulating in the neointimas and the media of poststenotic dilatation of the rabbit carotid artery

Ei ichi Okamoto, Kohji Imataka, Jun Fujii, Makoto Kuro-o, Ken ichi Nakahara, Hiroshi Nishimura, Yoshio Yazaki, Ryozo Nagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Rabbit smooth muscles contain at least three types of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms; SM1, SM2 and SMemb (NMHC-B), the expression of which is developmentally regulated. We have recently reported that smooth muscles with the embryonic phenotype accumulate in the neointimas produced by endothelial denudation or high-cholesterol feeding. In this study, we examined MHC isoform expression in the neointimas and the media of poststenotic dilatation of the rabbit carotid artery, and determined the phenotype of the smooth muscle cell in the dilated segment. We report here that neointimal cells in the dilated segment are smooth muscle cells with the embryonic phenotype as previously reported in our ballooning-injury study. The medial smooth muscles, however, are composed of heterogeneous population of smooth muscles which differ in stage of differentiation as determined by the MHC isoform expression. These results indicate that MHC isoforms are useful molecular markers to identify abnormally proliferating smooth muscles in diseased arteries and to understand the process of atherogenesis occurring following vascular injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 29 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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