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Thrombospondin-2 (Tsp2), a glycoprotein in the extracellular matrix, plays a critical role in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. However, its role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders such as intimal hyperplasia is not fully elucidated. This study, therefore, aims to explore the effect of Tsp2 on intimal hyperplasia and its associated underlying mechanisms. Intimal hyperplasia (IH) was established using a modified wire-mediated femoral artery injury model. Immunofluorescence and qPCR identified upregulated Tsp2 expression in the injured femoral artery compared with the uninjured femoral artery. Similarly, TSP2 expression was also increased in human samples from the atherosclerotic femoral artery and colocalized with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Compared with the wild-type littermates, Tsp2 knockout mice displayed a mitigated IH in the injured femoral artery, as demonstrated by a decreased neointimal area and intimal/median ratio. Primary mouse VSMCs were cultured to explore the mechanism by which Tsp2 influenced IH in vitro. PDGF-stimulated VSMCs presented an elevated Tsp2 expression and enhanced migration and proliferation. However, Tsp2 knockdown by siRNA blocked the increased migration and proliferation of VSMCs. Further analysis identified an association between Notch3 and IH when the intracellular domain of Notch3 (Nicd3) was upregulated in PDGF-stimulated VSMCs and femoral arteries with IH in human tissues. Along with the overexpression and downregulation of Tsp2, the Nicd3 expression was also up and downregulated accordingly. Tsp2 was associated with IH and may serve as a therapeutic target for IH. Downregulation of Tsp2 could mitigate the progression of IH by modulating the proliferation and migration of VSMCs. © 2023 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.


Xu Li, Yong Ding, Min Zhou, Zhenyu Zhou, Tianchen Xie, Yonggang Wang, Zhenjie Liu, Yi Si, Zhenyu Shi. Deficiency of thrombospondin-2 alleviates intimal hyperplasia in mice by modulating vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2023 Feb;37(2):e22743

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PMID: 36645109

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