Sympathetic innervation promotes vascular smooth muscle differentiation

Deborah H. Damon
2005 American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology  
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is an important modulator of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) growth and function. Several lines of evidence suggest that the SNS also promotes VSM differentiation. The present study tests this hypothesis. Expression of smooth muscle myosin (SM2) and ␣-actin were assessed by Western analysis as indexes of VSM differentiation. SM2 expression (normalized to ␣-actin) in adult innervated rat femoral and tail arteries was 479 Ϯ 115% of that in noninnervated carotid
more » ... teries. Expression of ␣-actin (normalized to GAPDH or total protein) in 30-dayinnervated rat femoral arteries was greater than in corresponding noninnervated femoral arteries from guanethidine-sympathectomized rats. SM2 expression (normalized to ␣-actin) in neonatal femoral arteries grown in vitro for 7 days in the presence of sympathetic ganglia was greater than SM2 expression in corresponding arteries grown in the absence of sympathetic ganglia. In VSM-endothelial cell cultures grown in the presence of dissociated sympathetic neurons, ␣-actin (normalized to GAPDH) was 300 Ϯ 66% of that in corresponding cultures grown in the absence of neurons. This effect was inhibited by an antibody that neutralized the activity of transforming growth factor-␤2. All of these data indicate that sympathetic innervation increased VSM contractile protein expression and thereby suggest that the SNS promotes and/or maintains VSM differentiation. endothelial cells; transforming growth factor-␤; ␣-actin; myosin
doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00354.2004 pmid:15665063 fatcat:rmzjaxyzcnhkpmlo7pcxmfdcma