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Lab Invest. 1992 Jun;66(6):715-21.

Interferon-beta. A potential autocrine regulator of human vascular smooth muscle cell growth.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


Positive and negative signals regulate the proliferation in vitro of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC), a principle cell type in the blood vessel wall. Immune interferon (IFN-gamma, a type II IFN) retards the growth of human SMC, but the effect of type I IFN (IFN-alpha or beta) is unknown. Furthermore, the capacity of SMC to produce IFN is uncharacterized. If type I IFN alters SMC growth and is produced by this cell type, an autocrine inhibitory loop could operate in vascular growth control. To test this possibility, we compared the effects of IFN-alpha, beta, and gamma on the growth of SMC stimulated by platelet-derived growth factor, interleukin-1 or tumor necrosis factor alpha. IFN-beta and IFN-gamma, but not IFN-alpha, consistently retarded growth of SMC cultures (measured by net DNA accumulation and cell number). We investigated whether SMC could produce IFN-beta, a mediator characteristically produced by fibroblasts. Vascular SMC treated with poly(I):poly(C) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha expressed IFN-beta mRNA. SMC treated with poly(I):poly(C) or Newcastle Disease virus elaborated biologically active IFN-beta as well. Our results establish that IFN-beta inhibits human vascular SMC growth and that these cells can express the IFN-beta gene. These findings show that human vascular SMC have the capacity of producing a potential autocrine growth regulator.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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