Vascular smooth muscle cells have been shown to exist in two phenotypic states which have been designated proliferative and contractile. The properties of rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells grown on Matrigel were compared with cells grown on untreated plastic culture dishes. Cells grown on Matrigel manifested at least four important properties characteristic of the contractile phenotype as compared with cells grown on plastic. The cells grown on Matrigel had altered morphology similar to in vivo studies of contractile vascular smooth muscle. The cells had a low proliferative index, showed enhanced levels of the smooth muscle isoform of α-actin, and had an enhanced contractile response to the vasoconstrictor arginine vasopressin. All of these changes were maintained through at least five passages and could be reversed by replating cells grown on Matrigel back to uncoated plastic dishes. Changes in post-receptor signaling pathways which could account for the altered physiologic responses of the cells were investigated. Cells grown on Matrigel showed no alterations in agonist-induced mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ or agonist-stimulated cAMP levels. However, stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) by both vasoconstrictors and growth factors was inhibited by 50% in cells grown on Matrigel as compared with plastic. This decrease in agonist-induced MAP kinase was associated with a decrease in the levels of both p42 and p44 MAP kinase protein and a decrease in tyrosine phosphorylation of both isoforms in cells grown on Matrigel. Alterations in MAP kinase activation can account at least in part for the observed physiologic responses of contractile vascular smooth muscle. Growth of vascular smooth muscle cells on Matrigel represents a useful model to examine phenotypic-dependent alterations in post-receptor signaling.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology