Vascular smooth muscle cell phenotypic modulation in culture is associated with reorganisation of contractile and cytoskeletal proteins. Subendothelial smooth muscle cells of human aorta express macrophage antigen in situ and in vitro. 1 The majority of VSMCs in the plaque are derived from the medial layer of the blood vessel. They participate in arterial wall remodeling, and play important roles in atherosclerosis throughout all stages of the disease. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exhibit phenotypic and functional plasticity in order to respond to vascular injury. VSMC can modulate their phenotype) in response to the environmental stimuli via a process characterized by decreased gene expression of VSMC contractile markers and increased proliferation, migration, and matrix synthesis . However, VSMCs in the media are surrounded by a basement membrane, which provides a brake on VSMC proliferation and migration. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are a major cell type present at all stages of an atherosclerotic plaque. The Phenotypic Switch of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells: A Key Event in Atherosclerosis and Restenosis. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) constitute the major cells in the media layer of arteries, and are critical to maintain the integrity of the arterial wall. In case of the vessel damage, VSMCs are able to switch from the quiescent ‘contractile’ phenotype to the ‘proinflammatory’ phenotype. Figure 1.Schematic diagram of modes of endothelial cell-vascular smooth muscle cell interaction that may lead to atherosclerosis. Key Words: atherosclerosis extracellular matrix interleukin platelet-derived growth factor smooth muscle Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Atherosclerosis Martin R. Bennett, Sanjay Sinha, Gary K. Owens Circulation Research Compendium on Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis: Successes, Surprises, and Future Challenges 2004; 94:863–865. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) constitute the major cells in the media layer of arteries, and are critical to maintain the integrity of the arterial wall. In atherosclerosis, the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) contributes to vessel wall inflammation and lipoprotein retention, as well as to the formation … In case of the vessel damage, VSMCs are able to switch from the quiescent ‘contractile’ phenotype to the ‘proinflammatory’ phenotype. Apoptosis (programmed cell death) of vascular smooth muscle cells and macrophages has recently been demonstrated in the following: (a) human atherosclerotic plaques; (b) physiological remodelling of the vessel; and (c) a variety of disease states. Atherosclerosis. 1997; 135:19–27. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exhibit phenotypic and functional plasticity in order to respond to vascular injury. 1994; 5: 323–330. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) play a pivotal role in atherogenesis. 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