Growth and phenotypic characterization of porcine coronary artery smooth muscle cells

M. C. Lavigne, P. W. Ramwell, R. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Vascular smooth muscle dell (VSMC) proliferation significantly contributes to atherosclerotic plaque formation and limits the success rate of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. We derived a population of porcine coronary artery SMCs to characterize VSMC proliferation and phenotype in preparation to study the molecular actions of VSMC mitogens and antiproliferative agents. Growth assays were designed to minimize the estrogen content in the culture medium, since this steroid hormone significantly influences VSMC growth and the expression of VSMC mitogens and their receptors. Culture conditions were identified such that this criterion was achieved while maintaining a significant VSMC growth rate. Cells cultured in serum-free medium, regardless of growth factor supplements, did not remain adherent to a plastic culture substrate, nor did they proliferate. Dextran- coated charcoal (DCC)-treated sera, including fetal bovine, calf, and porcine, supported VSMC adhesion, but not growth. Whole fetal bovine serum (FBS) produced the best proliferative response. A type-I collagen-coated culture surface significantly enhanced VSMC growth, but only in culture medium containing non-DCC-treated FBS. Flow cytometry analyses confirmed the mitogenic effects of this substrate. The VSMCs exhibited a morphological change on type-I collagen, but this was not accompanied by a change in VSMC phenotype. Our data indicate that culture of these porcine coronary artery SMCs in 2.5% FBS plus 10 ng platelet-derived growth factor-BB per ml in phenol red-free medium on type-I collagen may be the optimal conditions for studying the molecular aspects of VSMC mitogens and antiproliferative agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Estrogen
  • Mitogens
  • Serum
  • Type-I collagen


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