Cytotoxic effects of basic FGF and heparin binding EGF conjugated with cytotoxin saporin on vascular cell cultures

J Surg Res. 1998 Feb 15;75(1):35-41. doi: 10.1006/jsre.1997.5211.


Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation is an integral component of intimal lesion formation. In this study we compared the mitogenic effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and heparin binding epidermal growth factor (HBEGF) and the cytotoxic effects of bFGF and HBEGF conjugated with plant cytotoxin saporin (SAP) on vascular cell cultures. Human vascular SMCs and endothelial cells were cultured and FGF receptor-1 (FGFR-1) and EGF receptor (EGFR) expression were detected by immunohistochemical staining. Cells were grown in 24-well plates. Variable amounts of testing drugs (bFGF, HBEGF, SAP, bFGF-SAP, or HBEGF-SAP) were added to quadruplicate wells after 24 h. Cells without drugs were used as control. The total number of cells was counted at 72 h using a hemocytometer. The cultured human vascular SMCs and endothelial cells expressed both FGFR-1 and EGFR with predominant perinuclear localization. bFGF and HBEGF demonstrated equally potent mitogenic effects on SMC proliferation. SAP alone showed a limited cytotoxic effect on both SMCs and endothelial cells. bFGF had a more potent effect on endothelial cell proliferation than HBEGF. bFGF-SAP was equally cytotoxic for both SMCs and endothelial cells, while HBEGF-SAP had a more selectively cytotoxic effect on SMCs than on endothelial cells. These data suggest that the mitogenic effects of bFGF and HBEGF and the cytotoxic effects of bFGF-SAP and HBEGF-SAP may both be mediated by their corresponding growth factor receptors. Because of its selective cytotoxic effect on SMCs, HBEGF-SAP may become a more attractive agent for controlling intimal lesion formation.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / administration & dosage
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / administration & dosage
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology*
  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunotoxins*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / chemistry
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology*
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases*
  • Plant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / analysis
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Saporins
  • Umbilical Veins


  • HBEGF protein, human
  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor
  • Immunotoxins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • Saporins