Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) in vivo is thought to be synthesized mainly by endothelial cells. To date, no significant regulator of TFPI synthesis has been described. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) express tissue factor in vitro and in vivo, which may contribute to vascular thrombosis. We hypothesized that VSMC might also express TFPI. To determine this, we examined growth-arrested coronary VSMC in culture and found that VSMC secreted an amount of TFPI similar to that seen in endothelial cells. Immunohistochemistry of normal human coronary arteries showed TFPI staining throughout the media and intima of the vessel with localization to VSMC and endothelial cells. To determine regulation of TFPI expression in VSMC, we examined the effects of serum stimulation on TFPI secretion and found that FBS induced a 5-fold increase in TFPI antigen and activity levels in conditioned medium at 48 hours (P<0.001) when compared with serum-free conditions. A similar stimulatory effect was seen with 10% pooled human serum. Moreover, epidermal growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor- B increased TFPI secretion by 4- to 5-fold and 2- to 3-fold, respectively (P<0.05), and these growth factors accounted for ≃ 50% of the TFPI secretion effects of human serum. The serum effect was associated with a 3-fold increase in TFPI mRNA 24 hours after release from growth arrest and a 50% decrease in TFPI secretion after treatment with actinomycin D. Taken together, this study suggests that there is significant TFPI expression in VSMC in culture and in VSMC within the intima and media of the normal coronary artery wall. We present the first evidence for TFPI regulation by serum in VSMC and more specifically by its constituent growth factors, epidermal growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor-B.
- Smooth muscle
- Tissue factor