Migration versus proliferation as contributor to in vitro wound healing of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells

Kaitlyn R. Ammann, Katrina J. DeCook, Maxwell Li, Marvin J. Slepian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Wound closure, as a result of collective cell growth, is an essential biological response to injury. In the field of vascular biology, the response of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) to injury and substrate surface is important in therapeutic clinical treatment interventions such as angioplasty and atherectomy. Specifically, the mechanism by which cells close wounds (i.e. proliferation versus migration) in response to injury stimuli is of interest to better modulate recurrent vascular stenosis, prevent thrombus formation, occlusion, and life-threatening cardiovascular events. Here, we examine growth extent and temporal sequence of events following wound or gap introduction to a confluent monolayer of vascular SMCs or ECs. Significant differences in the preferred mechanisms of these cells to close wounds or gaps were observed; after 48 h, 73% of SMC wound closure was observed to be due to proliferation, while 75% of EC wound closure resulted from migration. These mechanisms were further modulated via addition or removal of extracellular matrix substrate and injury, with ECs more responsive to substrate composition and less to injury, in comparison to SMCs. Our results indicate that ECs and SMCs heal wounds differently, and that the time and mode of injury and associated substrate surface all impact this response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Endothelial cells
  • Migration
  • Proliferation
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • Vascular
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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