Regulation of α7-integrin expression in vascular smooth muscle by injury-induced atherosclerosis

Jun Tzu Chao, Gerald A. Meininger, Jan L. Patterson, Sarah A.L. Jones, Charles R. Partridge, Jessemy D. Neiger, E. Spencer Williams, Stephen J. Kaufman, Kenneth S. Ramos, Emily Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Injury of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) by allylamine (AAM) leads to phenotypic changes associated with atherogenic progression including increased proliferation, migration, and alterations in cell adhesion. In the present study, the relationship between AAM-induced vascular injury and expression of the α7-integrin subunit was investigated. The α7-mRNA and protein expression were examined using real-time RT-PCR, fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis (FACS), immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting. In cultured VSMCs from aortas of AAM-treated rats (70 mg/kg for 20 days), α7-mRNA levels were increased more than twofold compared with control cells. No change was seen in β1-integrin expression. FACS analysis revealed increased cell surface expression of α7-protein (25 ± 9%; *P < 0.05). AAM treatment of naive VSMCs enhanced α7-mRNA expression (2.4 ± 0.7-fold, mean ± SE; *P < 0.05). The increased α7-mRNA expression was attenuated by the amine oxidase inhibitor semicarbazide and the antioxidant pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, which confirms a role for oxidative stress in modulating α7- expression. In vivo α7-mRNA and protein expression were enhanced in the aortas of AAM-treated rats. In addition, increased α7-integrin expression facilitated AAM VSMC adhesion to laminin more efficiently compared with control (51 ± 2%; *P < 0.05). Chemical injury induced by AAM significantly enhances α7- integrin expression in VSMCs. These findings implicate for the first time the expression of α7-integrin during the response of VSMCs to vascular injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H381-H389
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 56-1
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Aorta
  • Cell adhesion
  • Laminin
  • Vascular injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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