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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Feb;33(2):339-46. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.300708. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Selective involvement of serum response factor in pressure-induced myogenic tone in resistance arteries.

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  • 1CNRS UMR 6214 - INSERM U1083, Université d'Angers, Faculté de Médecine, 49045 Angers, France.



In resistance arteries, diameter adjustment in response to pressure changes depends on the vascular cytoskeleton integrity. Serum response factor (SRF) is a dispensable transcription factor for cellular growth, but its role remains unknown in resistance arteries. We hypothesized that SRF is required for appropriate microvascular contraction.


We used mice in which SRF was specifically deleted in smooth muscle or endothelial cells, and their control. Myogenic tone and pharmacological contraction was determined in resistance arteries. mRNA and protein expression were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. Actin polymerization was determined by confocal microscopy. Stress-activated channel activity was measured by patch clamp. Myogenic tone developing in response to pressure was dramatically decreased by SRF deletion (5.9±2.3%) compared with control (16.3±3.2%). This defect was accompanied by decreases in actin polymerization, filamin A, myosin light chain kinase and myosin light chain expression level, and stress-activated channel activity and sensitivity in response to pressure. Contractions induced by phenylephrine or U46619 were not modified, despite a higher sensitivity to p38 blockade; this highlights a compensatory pathway, allowing normal receptor-dependent contraction.


This study shows for the first time that SRF has a major part to play in the control of local blood flow via its central role in pressure-induced myogenic tone in resistance arteries.

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