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J Vasc Surg. 2011 Apr;53(4):1044-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2010.10.117. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Matrix metalloproteinases modulated by protein kinase Cε mediate resistin-induced migration of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells.

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Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94304, USA.



Emerging evidence showed that resistin induces vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration, a critical step in initiating vascular restenosis. Adhesion molecule expression and cytoskeletal rearrangement have been observed in this progress. Given that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) also regulate cell migration, we hypothesized that MMPs may mediate resistin-induced VSMC migration.


Human VSMCs were treated with recombinant human resistin at physiologic (10 ng/mL) and pathologic (40 ng/mL) concentrations for 24 hours. Cell migration was determined by the Boyden chamber assay. MMP and tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase (TIMP) mRNA and protein levels were measured with real-time PCR and ELISA. MMP enzymatic activity was measured by zymography. In another experiment, neutralizing antibodies against MMP-2 and MMP-9 were coincubated with resistin in cultured VSMCs. The regulation of MMP by protein kinase C (PKC) was determined by εV1-2, a selective PKCε inhibitor.


Resistin-induced smooth muscle cell (SMC) migration was confirmed by the Boyden chamber assay. Forty nanograms/milliliter resistin increased SMC migration by 3.7 fold. Additionally, resistin stimulated MMP-2 and -MMP9 mRNA and protein expressions. In contrast, the TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 mRNA levels were inhibited by resistin. Neutralizing antibodies against MMP-2 and MMP-9 effectively reversed VSMC migration. Furthermore, resistin activated PKCε, but selective PKCε inhibitor suppressed resistin-induced MMP expression, activity, and cell migration.


Our study confirmed that resistin increased vascular smooth muscle cell migration in vitro. In terms of mechanism, resistin-stimulated cell migration was associated with increased MMP expression, which was dependent on PKCε activation.

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