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Circ Res. 2000 Jul 21;87(2):133-9.

Plasminogen is a critical determinant of vascular remodeling in mice.

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Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.


Extracellular proteolysis is likely to be a feature of vascular remodeling associated with atherosclerotic and restenotic arteries. To investigate the role of plasminogen-mediated proteolysis in remodeling, polyethylene cuffs were placed around the femoral arteries of mice with single and combined deficiencies in plasminogen and fibrinogen. Neointimal development occurred in all mice and was unaffected by genotype. Significant compensatory medial remodeling occurred in the cuffed arteries of control mice but not in plasminogen-deficient mice. Furthermore, focal areas of medial atrophy were frequently observed in plasminogen-deficient mice but not in control animals. A simultaneous deficit of fibrinogen restored the potential of the arteries of plasminogen-deficient mice to enlarge in association with neointimal development but did not eliminate the focal medial atrophy. An intense inflammatory infiltrate occurred in the adventitia of cuffed arteries, which was associated with enhanced matrix deposition. Adventitial collagen deposition was apparent after 28 days in control and fibrinogen-deficient arteries but not in plasminogen-deficient arteries, which contained persistent fibrin. These studies demonstrate that plasmin(ogen) contributes to favorable arterial remodeling and adventitial collagen deposition via a mechanism that is related to fibrinogen, presumably fibrinolysis. In addition, these studies reveal a fibrin-independent role of plasminogen in preventing medial atrophy in challenged vessels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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