A phenotypical study of vascular smooth muscle cells in human arterial and venous stenosis


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A Master's thesis.
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Master (thesis) (master)
A phenotypical study of vascular smooth muscle cells in human arterial and venous stenosis
Krahenbuhl S.
Corpataux J.M.
Saucy F.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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The primary function of the contractile vascular smooth muscle cells (cVSMCs) is the regulation of the vascular contractility which means the adaptation of the vascular tonus in response to the modulation of the blood pressure and blood flow. The cVSMCs are essentially quiescent, and therefore their synthesis rate is very limited. They are characterized by the expression of contractile proteins specific to the muscular tissue including myosin, h-­‐caldesmon and <-­‐smooth muscle actin (〈-­‐SMA). These contractile cells are strongly represented in the media layer of the arterial wall and, in a smaller proportion, of the vein wall. Their typical stretched-­‐out morphology allows recognizing them by a histological analysis. They do not produce any extracellular matrix (ECM), and do not migrate through the different layers of the vessel wall, and are not directly involved in the development of intimal hyperplasia (IH).
Neointimal formation occurs after endothelial disruption leading to complex molecular and biological mechanisms. The de-­‐differentiation of cVSMCs into synthetic VSMCs (sVSMCs) is mentioned as a key element. These non mature cells are able to proliferate and produce ECM.
The characterization of the vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from healthy and stenosed vascular tissues will contribue to the understanding of the different biological processes leading to IH and will be useful for the development of new therapies to interfere with the cVSMCs growth and migration.
The aim of our research was to quantify the proportion of cVSMCs and sVSMCs into the healthy and pathologic human blood vessel wall and to characterize their phenotype.
We selected 23 specimens of arterial and venous segments from 18 patients. All these specimens were stored in the biobank from the thoracic and vascular surgery departement.
4 groups were designed (group 1 :arteries without lesions (n=3) ;group 2 : veins without lesions (n=1); group 3: arteries with stenosis (n=9); group 4: veins with stenosis (n=10)). Histology: 5µm-­‐sections were made from each sample embedded in paraffin wax and further stained with hematoxylin & eosin (HE), Van Gieson's stain (VGEL) and Masson's Trichrome (TMB). Pathologic tissues were defined using the label that was given to the macroscopic samples by the surgeon and also, based on the histological analysis with HE and VGEL evaluating the presence of a thickened intima. The same was done to the control samples evaluating the absence of thickening.
Immunohistochemistry : The primary antibodies were used :〈-­‐SMA, vimentin, h-­‐ caldesmon, calponin, smooth muscle-myosin heavy chain (SM-­‐MHC), tropomyosin-­‐4, retinol binding protein-­‐1 (RBP-­‐1), nonmuscle-­‐myosin heavy chain-­‐B (NM-­‐MHC-­‐B), Von Willebrand factor (VWF). A semi-­‐quantitative assessment of the intensity of each sample stained was performed.
Western Blot : Segments of arteries and veins were analyzed using the following primary antibodies :〈-­‐SMA, Calponin, SM-­‐MHC, NM-­‐MHC-­‐B. The given results were then normalized with tubulin.
Our data showed that, when using immunohistochemistry analysis we found that〈-­‐SMA was mostly expressed in control arteries, whereas NM-­‐MHC-­‐B in the pathologic ones. Using SM-­‐MHC, calponin, vimentin and caldesmon we found no significative differences in the expression of these proteins in the control and in the pathologic samples. Western Blot analysis showed an inverse correlation between healthy and pathological samples as <-­‐ SMA was more expressed in the pathological samples, while NM-­‐MHC-­‐B in the control group; SM-­‐MHC and calponin were mostly expressed in the pathologic samples.
Our study showed no clear differences between stenotic and control arterial and venous segments using semi-­‐quantitative assessement by immunohistochemistry. Western Blot showed a significant increased expression of 〈-­‐SMA, calponin and SM-­‐MHC in the arteries with stenosis, while NM-­‐MHC-­‐B was mostly expressed in the arteries without lesions. Further studies are needed to track the lineage of VSMCs to understand the mechanisms leading toIH.
Intimal Hyperplasia, VSMC, Phenotypical Study, Immunohistochemistry, Western Blot
Create date
10/09/2013 9:07
Last modification date
20/08/2019 13:16
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