Differential Effects of IFN-β on the Survival and Growth of Human Vascular Smooth Muscle and Endothelial Cells

Emiko Sano*, Shinya Tashiro, Kouhei Tsumoto, Takuya Ueda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


It has been documented that interferon (IFN)-β is effective against the genesis of atherosclerosis or hyperplastic arterial disease in animal model. The main mechanism of the efficacy was antiproliferative action on the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC). To understand more about the mechanisms that are responsible for the efficacy, we examined minutely the effects of IFN-β on the apoptosis and growth of vascular SMC and endothelial cells (EC). IFN-β enhanced SMC apoptosis in serum starved medium. Conversely, EC apoptosis induced by serum and growth factor deprivation was inhibited by IFN-β. The induction of SMC apoptosis and anti-apoptotic effect on EC linked to the expression of pro-apoptotic bax mRNA and caspase-3 activities. Anti-apoptotic bcl-2 mRNA was also up-regulated in EC. IFN-β inhibited SMC growth in a dose dependent manner. However, the growth of EC was rather enhanced by a low dose of IFNs. The antiproliferative effect on SMC associated with the activation of p21 and increase of G0/G1 arrested cells. The growth stimulation on EC was considered to link with increase of S and G2/M phase cells. SMC produced IFN-β in response to various stimulants. However, IFN-β was not induced in EC. These suggested that endogenous IFN-β from SMC may act on EC and affect to EC functions. In this study, it was clarified that IFN-β enhances SMC apoptosis and inhibits the EC apoptosis, and stimulates the EC growth. These effects were considered to contribute to a cure against hyperplastic arterial diseases as the mechanisms in the efficacy of IFN-β.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBioResearch Open Access
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • IFN-β
  • apoptosis
  • growth
  • p53 pathway
  • vascular endothelial cells
  • vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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