Interleukin-1 promotes proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells in coordination with PDGF or a monocyte derived growth factor

Paul D. Bonin, Greg J. Fici, Jai Pal Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


We report that interleukin-1 (IL-1) potentiates the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Growth of early passage smooth muscle cells was not significantly affected by IL-1 alone. Treatment with IL-1 together with the platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) or another polypeptide growth factor derived from mitogen activated human monocytes (MDGF) resulted in a significant enhancement of cell growth over either PDGF or MDGF alone. DNA synthesis was enhanced only marginally (30-40%) in quiescent cultures treated with an optimal concentration of IL-1 alone. In the presence of 5 units/ml of PDGF or MDGF, IL-1 produced about six- to eightfold higher DNA synthesis than the untreated cultures. Induction of DNA synthesis was linear between 0.1 and 1.0 pM IL-1, dependent on PDGF concentration, and was effectively neutralized by monoclonal antibodies against IL-1β. The growth promoting activity of IL-1 was extremely potent producing half-maximum stimulation at a concentration of 0.5 pM. These results suggest that IL-1 may play an important role in the modulation of growth and other activities of vascular smooth muscle cells. These observations are especially important with regard to defining the potential macrophage derived mediators contributing to vascular cell proliferation during inflammation and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. It is shown here that elicitation of IL-1 induced growth response requires a coordinated action with another priming growth factor such as PDGF. In this regard, IL-1 mediated proliferation of smooth muscle cells may have analogy with the IL-1 mediated T-cell activation and IL-2 production where concerted actions of antigen/mitogen and IL-1 are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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