The availability of specific reagents to measure gene activity has provided important tools and potential new directions for the study of smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation in vivo. In this report, we have measured steady-state mRNA levels of several fos and jun family members in aortic tissue by Northern blotting after vascular injury. In addition, protein products of these genes were analyzed by immunocytochemistry. Within 15 minutes of balloon injury, mRNA levels of c-fos, fosB, c-jun, junB, and junD were elevated severalfold. In contrast, fos-related antigen (fra-1) mRNA showed a delayed onset of expression. The expression kinetics of these immediate early genes was similar to those in cultured cells stimulated to undergo proliferation by growth factors, suggesting that such SMC gene activation in vivo reflects permeation of blood-derived growth factors into the vessel wall or intravascular release of preformed growth factors. Translation of fos and jun genes into immunoreactive products was demonstrated 2 hours after balloon injury with antisera to Fos and Jun proteins. Treating rats with cycloheximide abolished this immunoreactivity. The distribution of Fos and Jun products was concentrated in SMC nuclei at the luminal border of the rat aorta. Such focal expression may have consequences for the initiation of SMC DNA synthesis and migration after vascular injury. Furthermore, the expression of Fos and Jun proteins in SMC after vascular balloon injury may be used as an index of SMC activation under a variety of experimental settings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Journal of Pathology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine