Connective tissue growth factor induces apoptosis via caspase 3 in cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells

Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Mar 24;392(1-2):19-22. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(00)00115-1.


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) stimulates proliferation of fibroblasts and endothelial cells, but nothing is known about its role in smooth muscle cells. In this study, the effects of recombinant human CTGF (r-hCTGF, 0.5-10 microgram/ml) on cultured human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells were investigated. r-hCTGF significantly reduced cell viability, increased apoptosis, and augmented caspase 3 activity. Moreover, r-hCTGF-induced apoptosis was significantly inhibited by an antibody to CTGF and a caspase-3 inhibitor, Z-Asp(Ome)-Glu-(Ome)Val-Asp(Ome)-FMK. These results suggest that r-hCTGF activates caspase 3 and induces apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / cytology
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / pharmacology*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • CCN2 protein, human
  • Growth Substances
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases