Protective roles of endogenous carbon monoxide in neointimal development elicited by arterial injury

Yuko Togane, Toshisuke Morita, Makoto Suematsu, Yuzuru Ishimura, Jun Ichi Yamazaki, Shigehiro Katayama

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116 Citations (Scopus)


We reported that carbon monoxide (CO) generated through heme oxygenase (HO) inhibits mitogen-induced proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). We report that balloon injury induces HO-1, the stress-inducible isozyme of HO, in VSMCs and inhibits neointimal formation through the action of endogenous CO. Northern blot analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed that HO-1 is markedly induced in the media as early as 1 day after injury, whereas only a little expression was detected in the intact carotid artery. The neointimal proliferative changes were augmented or inhibited by the HO inhibitors or inducer, respectively, and effects of these interventions were not altered by suppression of endogenous nitric oxide (NO), if any. To elucidate the mechanisms by which HO controls the proliferative changes, effects of alterations in the HO reaction were examined by determining angiotensin II-elicited VSMC proliferation in vitro: the HO inducer attenuated and its inhibitor restored the proliferative response to angiotensin II (1 nM and 100 nM). Hemoglobin, a reagent trapping both NO and CO, but not methemoglobin, which can capture NO but not CO, augmented the proliferative response. These data suggest that endogenous CO serves as a protective factor that limits the excessive VSMC proliferation associated with vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H623-H632
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 47-2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Feb


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Balloon injury
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Proliferation
  • Vascular smooth muscle cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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