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Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun;216(2):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Oncostatin M is expressed in atherosclerotic lesions: a role for Oncostatin M in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, VA Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.



Chronic inflammation plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The inflammatory response is mediated by cytokines. The aim of this study was to determine if Oncostatin M (OSM), a monocyte and T-lymphocyte specific cytokine is present in atherosclerotic lesions. We also investigated the roles of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1 and STAT-3 in regulating OSM-induced smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, migration and cellular fibronectin (cFN) synthesis.


Immunostaining of atherosclerotic lesions from human carotid plaques demonstrated the expression of OSM antigen in both macrophages and SMCs. Explanted SMCs from human carotid plaques expressed OSM mRNA and protein as determined by RT-PCR and Western blotting. Using the chow-fed ApoE(-/-) mouse model of atherosclerosis, we observed that OSM was initially expressed in the intima at 20 weeks of age. By 30 weeks, OSM was expressed in both the intima and media. In vitro studies show that OSM promotes SMC proliferation, migration and cFN synthesis. Lentivirus mediated-inhibition of STAT-1 and STAT-3 prevented OSM-induced SMC proliferation, migration and cellular fibronectin synthesis.


These findings demonstrate that OSM is expressed in atherosclerotic lesions and may contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis by promoting SMC proliferation, migration and extracellular matrix protein synthesis through the STAT pathway.

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