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Am J Pathol. 1996 Jul;149(1):307-17.

Secretion of monocyte chemotactic activity by cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells in response to PDGF is due predominantly to the induction of JE/MCP-1.

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Cardiovascular Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Inflammation is a critical feature of atherosclerosis and is characterized in part by the migration of circulating monocytes to the atherosclerotic plaque. These monocytes, together with macrophages, are a source of cytokines, growth factors, proteases, and procoagulants, which contribute to the progression of the atherosclerosis lesion. This study employed a modified Boyden chamber to examine the secretion of monocyte chemotactic activity by cultured rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells in response to growth factors and cytokines. The induction of monocyte chemotactic activity showed a surprising specificity for platelet-derived growth factor-BB. This activity was blocked by actinomycin D and cycloheximide and thus required de novo transcription and protein synthesis. The ability to stimulate monocyte migration appeared to be solely due to the secretion of the monocyte chemoattractant protein JE/MCP-1 and was completely blocked by antisense oligonucleotides and antibodies to JE/MCP-1. The induction of chemotactic activity was also blocked by dexamethasone, an inhibitor of JE mRNA accumulation. This study suggests that the secretion of monocyte chemotactic activity by vascular smooth muscle cells is a highly regulatable and specific event and underscores the importance of JE/MCP-1 in the inflammatory response of the vessel wall.

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