Although rabbit vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) showed a differentiated phenotype in three-dimensional type I collagen matrices (honeycombs, diameter of pores = 200-500 μm), mouse vascular SMCs proliferated in honeycombs having the same pore size. Here we investigated the relationship between pore sizes of honeycombs and differentiation of SMCs using various pore sizes of honeycombs. Rabbit SMCs (length: 200 ± 32 μm) and mouse SMCs (49 ± 10 μm) formed crossbridges in honeycombs with 200-300 μm and less than 200 μm of pores, respectively. Both SMCs spread on the inner wall but did not form crossbridges in honeycombs with larger pores. [3H]Thymidine incorporation and cell number of both SMCs were decreased when the crossbridges were formed in honeycombs. Because proliferation inhibition and crossbridge formation were observed in the culture of rabbit and mouse SMCs using 200-300 μm and less than 200 μm pore sized honeycombs, respectively, these data suggested that forming crossbridges was important for the inhibition of proliferation of SMCs. Rabbit SMCs differentiation was accompanied by the expression of caldesmon heavy chain when cultured in honeycombs having less than 300 μm pores. Proliferation of mouse SMCs stopped in honeycombs having less than 200 μm pores, but caldesmon heavy chain was not detected despite the expression of its mRNA. Proliferation of SMCs stopped on plates when cells reached confluent state, however, caldesmon heavy chain was not expressed. These data suggested that an appropriate structure and suitable honeycomb pore size are important for the differentiation of SMCs.
- Smooth muscle cell
- Three-dimensional culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology