Smooth muscle cells express urokinase during mitogenesis and tissue-type plasminogen activator during migration in injured rat carotid artery.
Although the level of plasminogen activator (PA) expression has been correlated with cellular proliferation and migration in vitro, this relation has not been established in tissue undergoing repair. In a rat model of arterial injury, we have measured the expression of PAs by vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) during entry into the growth cycle (0-24 hours) and subsequent migration from the media to the intima (starting at approximately 4 days). In normal rat carotid, low levels of urokinase-type PA (uPA) and tissue-type PA (tPA) are present; after removal of the endothelium, only uPA is detected in the media. uPA activity in extracts of carotid arteries increases and reaches a maximum between 16 and 24 hours after injury; uPA mRNA increases steadily and is maximal at 7 days. tPA activity appears at 3 days and is maximal at 7 days; tPA mRNA is present in normal vessels and reaches a maximum by 7 days. Most of the tPA in the media is associated with SMC and not with regenerating endothelium. Furthermore, tPA is present in the media before the SMCs migrate into the intima. These results demonstrate that PA expression by vascular SMCs is differentially regulated, with uPA present during mitogenesis and tPA during migration.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association