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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Jun;30(6):1203-11. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.205187. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Characterization of ion channels involved in the proliferative response of femoral artery smooth muscle cells.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Fisiología e Instituto de Biología y Genética Molecular, Universidad de Valladolid y Consejo superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Valladolid, Spain.



Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) contribute significantly to occlusive vascular diseases by virtue of their ability to switch to a noncontractile, migratory, and proliferating phenotype. Although the participation of ion channels in this phenotypic modulation (PM) has been described previously, changes in their expression are poorly defined because of their large molecular diversity. We obtained a global portrait of ion channel expression in contractile versus proliferating mouse femoral artery VSMCs, and explored the functional contribution to the PM of the most relevant changes that we observed.


High-throughput real-time polymerase chain reaction of 87 ion channel genes was performed in 2 experimental paradigms: an in vivo model of endoluminal lesion and an in vitro model of cultured VSMCs obtained from explants. mRNA expression changes showed a good correlation between the 2 proliferative models, with only 2 genes, Kv1.3 and Kvbeta2, increasing their expression on proliferation. The functional characterization demonstrates that Kv1.3 currents increased in proliferating VSMC and that their selective blockade inhibits migration and proliferation.


These findings establish the involvement of Kv1.3 channels in the PM of VSMCs, providing a new therapeutical target for the treatment of intimal hyperplasia.

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