Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;30(6):1465-72. doi: 10.1159/000343334. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Low molecular weight heparin inhibits circulating fibrocytes differentiation by modulating neuronal nitric oxide synthase and TGF-β1/Smad pathway.

Author information

Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.



Circulating fibrocytes (CFs) have been placed at the center of a number of fibrosing conditions. Recently, attention has been drawn to the non-anticoagulant activities of low molecular weight heparin (LH), especially its anti-fibrotic effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of LH on CFs differentiation and possible underlying mechanisms.


CFs were cultured from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and identified by dual-immunofluorescence staining. Incubation with LH inhibited CFs trans-differentiation by upregulating CD34 and downregulating pro-Collagen I and a-SMA in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, all of which were detected by flow cytometry. Similar effects were observed after incubation with L-NAME, an inhibitor of NOS. NO production was measured by Griess methods and markedly decreased in CFs treated with LH. Three NOS isoforms were assessed by western blot and nNOS was the predominant isoform involved in this process. Additionally, LH and L-NAME had similar down-regulating effects on the expression of TGF-β1 and pSmad2/3, which indicated that TGF-β/Smad pathway might be a downstream signaling of nNOS/NO during LH treatment.


These results suggested that LH could exhibit anti-fibrotic effects by inhibiting CFs transdifferentiation, in which the involvement of nNOS/NO and TGF-β/Smad pathway were identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Support Center