Effects of ultraviolet light in vascular cells in vitro and in intact atherosclerotic explants: Potential role of apoptosis in vascular biology

Angel López-Candales, Dennis R. Holmes, Michael J. Scott, Robert W. Thompson, Samuel A. Wickline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Complex cell-to-cell interactions are known to participate during vascular injury and remodeling, resulting in smooth muscle cell proliferation. Mechanical interventions have yielded little benefit in limiting this process and several site-specific genetic therapies are not yet clinically available. The aim of this study was to delineate the effect of very short wavelength ultraviolet (UVC) light therapy on the viability of macrophage and smooth muscle cells. Vascular cells were both treated in vitro and in intact explanted atherosclerotic aortic segments ex vivo with UVC light. Brief exposure to short wavelength UVC light in the absence of photosensitizers elicited a differential temporal and functional response among treated cells. However, dramatic reduction in both cellular viability and proliferative capacity with eventual cell demise was observed in all UVC-treated cells. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemical analyses revealed the presence of extensive DNA fragmentation, suggestive of apoptosis as a predominant pathway of cell death in these cells exposed to UVC light. We hypothesize that selective induction of apoptosis, in contrast to necrosis, with UVC light may represent a beneficial approach to interdict the complex biologic cascade of messengers that participate in the restenotic response to vascular injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-345
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Atherosclerotic aorta
  • Macrophage
  • New Zealand White rabbit
  • Smooth muscle cell

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