The effects of nicotine on vascular smooth muscle cell chemotaxis induced by thrombospondin-1 and fibronectin

Am J Surg. 2011 Nov;202(5):545-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2011.06.016. Epub 2011 Sep 23.


Background: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration is an important process in many vascular disorders. Nicotine, thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and fibronectin (Fn) separately induce VSMC migration. The hypothesis of this study was that nicotine treatment of vascular cells would augment TSP-1-induced and Fn-induced VSMC migration.

Methods: VSMCs or endothelial cells (ECs) were treated with serum-free medium or nicotine. Migration of VSMCs was assessed using a modified Boyden chemotaxis chamber to serum-free medium, TSP-1, Fn, EC basal medium, and conditioned EC medium or nicotine-treated conditioned EC medium alone or with supplemented TSP-1 or Fn.

Results: Nicotine treatment increased VSMC chemotaxis to serum-free medium, but TSP-1 or Fn had no further effect on chemotaxis. Conditioned EC and nicotine-treated conditioned EC enhanced VSMC chemotaxis, which was further augmented by Fn supplementation.

Conclusions: Nicotine-stimulated EC derived factors induce VSMC migration, which is augmented by the addition of Fn.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Fibronectins / physiology
  • Ganglionic Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / physiology
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Thrombospondin 1 / physiology


  • Fibronectins
  • Ganglionic Stimulants
  • Thrombospondin 1
  • Nicotine