ESDN is a marker of vascular remodeling and regulator of cell proliferation in graft arteriosclerosis

Am J Transplant. 2007 Sep;7(9):2098-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01919.x.


Vascular remodeling is a common feature of many vasculopathies, including graft arteriosclerosis (GA). We investigated whether endothelial and smooth muscle cell-derived neuropilin-like protein (ESDN) is a marker of vascular remodeling in GA. Immunostaining of human coronary arteries demonstrated high levels of ESDN in GA, but not in normal arteries. In a model of GA, where a segment of human coronary is transplanted into a severe combined immunodeficient mouse, followed by allogeneic human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) reconstitution, ESDN was minimally expressed in transplanted human arteries in the absence of reconstitution. By 2 weeks following PBMC reconstitution, at a time corresponding to maximal vascular cell proliferation, high levels of ESDN were detected in the transplanted arteries. Similarly, injury-induced vascular remodeling in apoE(-/-) mice was associated with early and transient ESDN upregulation, in parallel with cell proliferation. In vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) cultures, ESDN expression was significantly higher in proliferating, as compared to growth-arrested cells. ESDN overexpression in VSMC led to a decline in growth curves, while ESDN knock down had the opposite effect. We conclude that ESDN is a marker of vascular remodeling and regulator of VSMC proliferation. ESDN may serve as a therapeutic or diagnostic target for GA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / metabolism
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / transplantation*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / transplantation
  • RNA / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Biomarkers
  • DCBLD2 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA