Heparin inhibits the expression of tissue-type plasminogen activator by smooth muscle cells in injured rat carotid artery.
Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in balloon-injured rat carotid artery express tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) at a time when they are migrating from the media to the intima. Since heparin inhibits SMC migration and intimal thickening, we have examined the possibility that heparin might also inhibit t-PA expression. Heparin (nonanticoagulant fraction; molecular weight, approximately 6,000) was administered by continuous intravenous infusion (1.0 mg/kg per hour) to Sprague-Dawley rats subjected to balloon injury of the left common carotid artery. At various times up to 14 days after injury, plasminogen activator expression was analyzed by zymography, plasmin generation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Northern blotting, and in situ hybridization. This dose of heparin inhibited SMC accumulation at 14 days by 60%. Both urokinase plasminogen activator (u-PA) and t-PA activity increased in injured arteries and reached a maximum at 7 days. Heparin treatment decreased t-PA, but not u-PA, activity. Total t-PA protein was decreased by treatment with heparin but not chondroitin sulfate, and the decrease in t-PA protein was associated with decreased t-PA mRNA in the media. These results in the injured rat carotid artery agree with our earlier observations that heparin inhibits t-PA gene expression in cultured baboon aortic SMCs. They also provide support for the hypothesis that heparin interferes with the expression of certain proteases required for SMC migration and proliferation.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association