Angiotensin II induces smooth muscle cell proliferation in the normal and injured rat arterial wall

Circulation Research
M J DaemenS M Schwartz


The present study was undertaken to explore the possibility that neointimal smooth muscle cells, the characteristic cells of restenosis and atherosclerosis, are selectively stimulated to replicate by a hypertensive stimulus. Angiotensin II (AII) was infused by osmotic minipumps for 2 weeks in 4.5-month-old rats. Group A received AII (200 ng/min) 2 weeks after a balloon catheter-induced injury of the thoracic aorta and left common carotid artery. Group B received only AII, group C only balloon denudation, and group D neither balloon injury nor AII. During the AII or Ringer's solution infusion, all animals received [3H]thymidine via a second minipump to measure DNA synthesis. AII increased the systolic pressure by more than 40 mm Hg. AII significantly increased DNA synthesis in the media of the carotid artery from 0.2 +/- 0.2% in group C to 2.5 +/- 1.5% in group A (mean +/- SD, n = 5 or 6). DNA synthesis in the neointima of the carotid artery significantly increased with AII from 4.8 +/- 4.2% in group C to 19.8 +/- 13.9% in group A. Cross-sectional area of the neointima almost doubled during AII infusion, and it increased approximately 25% in the media. Comparable results were obtained in the aorta. In a second experiment, AII wa...Continue Reading


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