Smooth muscle myosin heavy chain expression in the arterial wall; a new viewpoint for vascular pathology

R. Nagai, M. Kuro-o, M. Aikawa, M. Watanabe, T. Suzuki, Y. Yazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Smooth muscle is an important component of the vessel wall. Smooth muscle cell undergoes phenotypic modulation during development of vascular lesions, such as atherosclerosis and restenosis following percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). In order to understand the mechanism of vascular remodeling, it is important to identify the smooth muscle cell in the vascular lesion and identify its phenotype by using molecular markers specific to the smooth muscle cell. Three types of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms (SM1, SM2 and SMemb) expressed in smooth muscles are suitable for this purpose. In this study we first demonstrated that the expression of smooth muscle specific MHCs, such as SM1 and SM2, is reduced in human coronary arteries after the fifth decade. On the other hand, rapidly proliferating smooth muscles in the restenotic lesion express abundant SMemb but less amount of SM2. These observations indicate that deranged vascular smooth muscle differentiation is involved the development of vascular lesion. We furthermore demonstrated that smooth muscle-specific MHC is released into serum from the arterial wall following vascular damage as in dissecting aneurysm. Circulating smooth muscle MHC level was elevated 5-10 times above normal at 24 hours after aortic dissection as determined using a sensitive ELISA. We conclude from these results that smooth muscle MHC isoforms are important molecular markers for vascular pathology as well as for biochemical diagnosis of vascular injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalRinsho byori. The Japanese journal of clinical pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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