Cyclic stretching stimulates synthesis of matrix components by arterial smooth muscle cells in vitro

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Science  06 Feb 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4226, pp. 475-477
DOI: 10.1126/science.128820


Rabbit aortic medial cells were grown on purified elastin membranes, which were then subjected to repeated elongation and relaxation or to agitation without stretching. Cells remained attached to the membranes, and cyclic stretching resulted in a two- to fourfold increase in rates of collagen, hyaluronate, and chondroitin 6-sulfate synthesis over those in agitated or stationary preparations. Synthesis of types I and III collagen was increased to the same degree. Stretching did not increase rates of chondroitin 4-sulfate or dermatan sulfate synthesis. Differences were not attributable to differences in cell number, for DNA synthetic rates were not increased by stretching. The model system devised to demonstrate these effects provides a means for relating various modes of mechanical stimulation to cell metabolism.

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