Vascular smooth muscle cells exhibit increased growth in response to elevated glucose

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1992 Aug 31;187(1):552-60. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(05)81529-3.


Diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In order to elucidate the association between hyperglycemia and vascular complications, the growth patterns of vascular smooth muscle cells were studied under high glucose conditions. We examined the effect of culturing porcine aortic smooth muscle cells (PVSMC) in high glucose (25 mM, HG) on total cell protein, cell volume, DNA synthesis and cell number. We observed that cells cultured in HG had higher total cell protein content which was associated with increased cell volume as compared to the cells cultured under normoglycemic conditions (5.5 mM glucose, NG). PVSMC cultured in HG also had 1.4 fold increased growth rate and a greater fetal calf serum-induced DNA synthesis rate compared to cells cultured in NG. These observations suggest for the first time that elevated glucose could lead to both hypertrophic and hyperplastic effects in PVSMC. We also examined protein kinase C (PKC) activities as well as the cellular levels of the 12-lipoxygenase product, 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) in NG and HG as possible mechanisms for the enhanced growth effects in HG. The results show that PVSMC cultured in HG have increased PKC activity as well as increased levels of 12-HETE. Therefore hyperglycemia may be linked to accelerated vascular disease by increasing smooth muscle cell growth and proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid
  • Animals
  • Aorta
  • Blood
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Swine


  • Culture Media
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • Proteins
  • 12-Hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic Acid
  • DNA
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Glucose