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J Cell Physiol. 1982 Jan;110(1):9-16.

Effects of isolation and culture on prostaglandin synthesis by porcine aortic endothelial and smooth muscle cells.


Freshly isolated neonatal porcine aortic tissue (smooth muscle with or without endothelium present) produced approximately 30 ng/mg wet tissue of 6-oxo-prostaglandin F1 alpha (the stable hydrolysis product from prostacyclin) and approximately 15 ng/mg of prostaglandin E2, as measured by radioimmunoassay after 24 h incubation in culture medium. Primary cultures of porcine endothelial and smooth muscle cells (isolated by enzymic digestion of aortic tissue) exhibited the same pattern of prostaglandin production, but absolute values were greater than for fresh tissue, particularly in the case of endothelium. Subcultures of endothelium produced smaller amounts of prostaglandins, although the pattern remained similar. In contrast, subcultures of smooth muscle cells produced a greater total amount of prostaglandins than did primary cultures, and the main product was prostaglandin E2. Experiments with [14C] prostaglandin H2 or [14C]arachidonic acid confirmed that aortic tissue, cultured endothelium, and primary cultures or aortic smooth muscle cells synthesized prostacyclin, and demonstrated that subcultured smooth muscle cells enzymically isomerised prostaglandin H2 to prostaglandin E2. Kinetic studies showed that prostaglandin production by cultured vascular cells was transiently increased by subculture or changing the growth medium, and that production per cell declined with increasing cell density. The change in pattern of prostaglandin production during culture was shown to be due to a rapid decline in the rate of prostacyclin production (which apparently began immediately after tissue isolation), together with a more gradual rise in prostaglandin E2 production. These results indicate that the amounts and ratios of prostaglandins produced by vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells are greatly affected by the conditions used to isolate and culture the cells; vascular cells in vivo may similarly alter their pattern of prostaglandin production in response to local changes in their environment.

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