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Circ Res. 1998 Aug 10;83(3):305-13.

Heparan sulfate proteoglycans mediate a potent inhibitory signal for migration of vascular smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-6410, USA.


Migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is a key step in vascular remodeling and formation of pathological lesions in diseased arteries and may be controlled by extracellular matrix (ECM) and by factors that regulate ECM composition, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). In culture, PDGF-AB and -BB enhance but PDGF-AA (although having no effect alone) suppresses SMC migration stimulated by other PDGF isoforms. To determine whether the migration-inhibitory mechanism of PDGF-AA was mediated by ECM composition, we examined baboon SMC migration in a Boyden chamber assay using filters coated with different ECM proteins. PDGF-AA suppressed the PDGF-BB-induced migration of baboon SMCs on a filter coated with basement membrane proteins (Matrigel) and fibronectin but failed to inhibit cell migration on a type I collagen (Vitrogen)-coated filter. Fibronectin and fibronectin fragments that contain heparin-binding domains permitted PDGF-AA inhibition of cell migration, but a fragment lacking heparin-binding domains did not. Treatment of SMCs with heparin lyases II and III, but not with chondroitin ABC lyase, diminished the PDGF-AA-mediated inhibition of migration. PDGF-AA stimulated accumulation of proteoglycan (PG) in the cell layer more potently than did PDGF-BB, whereas the turnover of cell layer PG was unaffected by either PDGF-AA or -BB. Northern blot analysis revealed that PDGF-AA increased syndecan-1 mRNA expression more than did PDGF-BB, whereas both PDGF isoforms decreased perlecan expression. The changes in cell migration and PG synthesis induced by PDGF-AA were accompanied by changes in the morphology of SMCs. PDGF-AA dramatically induced the spreading of SMCs, whereas the heparin lyase treatment of PDGF-AA-stimulated cultures diminished cell spreading. The data suggest that PDGF-AA selectively modifies heparan sulfate PG accumulation on SMCs and thereby influences the interactions of SMCs with heparin-binding ECM proteins. These interactions, in turn, generate signals that suppress SMC migration.

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