Demonstration of activin-A in arteriosclerotic lesions

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994 Nov 30;205(1):441-8. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1994.2685.


We previously reported that follistatin, an activin-binding protein, is produced in arteriosclerotic lesions. Here, the expression of activin-A which promotes the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells was examined in arteriosclerotic lesions of WHHL (Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic) rabbits. Activin-A mRNA was detected in normal aorta by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction using specific primers for activin-A cDNA and was increased remarkably in arteriosclerotic lesions. In addition, using the cloned rabbit activin-A cDNA, RNA probe was prepared and in situ hybridization histochemistry was performed. Activin-A transcripts were detected abundantly in neointima of the diseased artery. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry also detected activin-A at the protein level. These observations suggest that activin-A is a cytokine expressed in arteriosclerotic lesions and might be involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Growth Substances / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inhibins / genetics
  • Inhibins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rabbits


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Growth Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Activins
  • Inhibins