Retinoid Receptor Expression and all-trans Retinoic Acid-Mediated Growth Inhibition in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

Joseph M. Miano, Stavros Topouzis, Mark W. Majesky, Eric N. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Background: Retinoids have been used in the successful treatment of a variety of human hyperproliferative diseases. Their role in smooth muscle cell (SMC) growth control, however has not been clearly established. The present study was designed to assess the retinoid receptor mRNA expression profile in SMCs and to determine whether retinoids exert a growth-inhibitory effect in these cells. Methods and Results: Five of the six retinoid receptors were expressed in both cultured SMCs and aorta as determined by Northern blotting or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction Receptor activity was demonstrated in SMCs with the use of a reporter assay with a retinoid receptor DNA binding sequence linked to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene. DNA synthesis and cell proliferation assays were performed to show that all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) antagonized platelet-derived growth factor-BB and serum-stimulated SMC growth. Growth inhibition was distal to early growth-signaling events because induction of c-fos, c-jun, and egr-1 mRNA was unaffected by atRA. However, with an activated protein-1-linked chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter, atRA was shown to inhibit the activity of activated protein-1-dependent transcription in a transient transfection assay. Conclusions: These results establish the presence of functional retinoid receptors in SMCs and document the growth-inhibitory action of atRA on these cells. Retinoid compounds, already in clinical use as antiproliferative agents for nonvascular indications, should be assessed further in in vivo models of intimal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1886-1895
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1996


  • Genes
  • Muscle, smooth
  • Restenosis
  • Retinoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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