Original Article

Differential response of human fetal smooth muscle cells from arterial duct to retinoid acid

Li-hui Wu, Shao-jun Xu, Jian-ying Teng, Wei Wu, Du-yun Ye, Xing-zhong Wu


Aim: The aim of the present study was to understand the role of retinoic acid (RA) in the development of isolated patent ductus arteriosus and the features of arterial duct-derived vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC).
Methods: The VSMC were isolated, and the biological characteristics and the response to RA were investigated in the arterial duct, aorta, and pulmonary artery VSMC from 6 human embryonic samples. Western blotting, immunostaining, and cell-based ELISA were employed to analyze the proliferation regulation of VSMC.
Results: The VSMC from the arterial duct expressed proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) at a significantly lower rate than those from the aorta and pulmonary artery, but expressed a higher level of Bax and Bcl-2. The expression level of PCNA or Bcl-2 was associated with the embryonic age. The effects of RA on the VSMC from the arterial duct were quite different from those from the aorta and pulmonary artery. In arterial duct VSMC, RA stimulated PCNA expression, but such stimulation could be suppressed by CD2366, an antagonist of nuclear retinoid receptor activation. In aorta or pulmonary artery VSMC, the expression response of PCNA to RA was insignificant. The ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 decreased in arterial duct VSMC after RA treatment due to the significant inhibition of Bax expression.
Conclusion: The VSMC from the arterial duct possessed distinct biological behaviors. RA might be important in the development of ductus arteriosus VSMC.