Role of Cell-Cell bond for the viability and the function of vascular smooth muscle cells

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M. Mura *
S. Garibaldi
C. Barisione
E. Fulcheri
G. Ghigliotti
I. Tracchi
C. Aloi
P. Fabbi
P. Altieri
P. Spallarossa
C. Brunelli
(*) Corresponding Author:
M. Mura |


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) viability and homeostasis is regulated by cell-matrix and cell-cell contact: disruption of these interactions are responsible of a switch from a mature to a high proliferative phenotype. VSMCs migration, rate of growth and apoptosis, and the extent of their extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition can be also modulated by proatherogenic peptides. Among them, ATII induces the transactivation of IGF I R, which, together with the binding protein IGFBP3, represents a determinant of cell survival, growth and proliferation. Aim of our in vitro study was to verify the role of elective cell-cell bond in moulating the response to ATII. Thus, we evaluated viability, proliferation, IGFIR, IGFBP3 expression and the long term survival and production of ECM in a provisional tissue. A7r5 cell-line was used in adherent cultures or incubated in agarose-coated culture plates to inhibit cell-matrix interactions. Cells, treated or not with ATII 100 nM, were evaluated for apoptosis rate, cell cycle, IGFIR and IGFBP3 protei expression. Fibrin provisional tissue was developed polymerizing a fibrin solution. cantaining A7r5 cells with thrombin. Histological stainings for ECM components were performed on sections of prvisional tissue. An exclusive cell-cell contact resulted to monolayer cell cultures. ATII did not affect the cell survival in both culture conditions, but promoted a 10% decrease in "S" phase and an increases IGFIR expression only in adherent cells. while suspended cell aggregates were resistant to ATII administration; IGFBP3 was reduced both in ATII treated adherent cells and in floating clustered cells, irrespective of the treatmentn. VSMC conditioning in agarose-coated plates before seeding in fibrin provisional matrix reduced, but not abolished, the cell ability to colonize the clot and to produce ECM. This study demonstrates that the elective cell-cell contact induces a quiescent status in cells lacking of cell-matrix interactions and reduces the responsiveness to ATII. Therefore, preserved cell-cell contac may couteract vascular remodeling induced by proatherogenic stimuli.

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