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J Clin Invest. 1994 Mar;93(3):1266-74.

Insulin-like growth factor-I and platelet-derived growth factor-BB induce directed migration of human arterial smooth muscle cells via signaling pathways that are distinct from those of proliferation.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Directed migration or chemotaxis of arterial smooth muscle cells (SMC) contributes to intimal SMC accumulation, a key event in the development of atherosclerotic lesions and in restenosis after angioplasty. The present study compares and contrasts insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) as chemoattractants and mitogens for human arterial SMC. Compared with PDGF-BB, IGF-I is a weaker SMC mitogen. Thus, PDGF-BB, but not IGF-I, evokes a strong and rapid activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase and MAP kinase. However, IGF-I is a potent stimulator of directed migration of human arterial SMC, as measured in a Boyden chamber assay. The half-maximal concentration for migration is similar to the Kd for IGF-I receptor interaction. An IGF-I receptor-blocking antibody blocks the effects of IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin, indicating that the effects are indeed mediated through the IGF-I receptor. The maximal effect of IGF-I on directed migration ranges between 50% and 100% of the effect of PDGF-BB, the strongest known chemoattractant for SMC. The ability of IGF-I and PDGF-BB to induce chemotaxis coincides with their ability to stimulate phosphatidylinositol turnover, diacylglycerol formation, and intracellular Ca2+ flux and suggests that these signaling pathways, but not activation of the MAP kinase cascade, are required for chemotaxis of human arterial SMC.

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