Distribution of vimentin and desmin filaments in smooth muscle tissue of mammalian and avian aorta
Schmid, E.; Osborn, M.; Rungger-Brändle, E.; Gabbiani, G.; Weber, K.; Franke, W.W.
Experimental Cell Research 137(2): 329-340
ISSN/ISBN: 0014-4827 PMID: 7035200 DOI: 10.1016/0014-4827(82)90034-9
The presence of intermediate filament proteins in vascular tissue cells was examined by immunofluorescence microscopy on frozen sections of the aortic wall of diverse vertebrates (rat, cow, human and chicken), and by gel electrophoresis of cytoskeletal proteins from whole aortic tissue or from stripped tunica media of cow and man. Most cells of the aortic wall in these species contain vimentin filaments, including smooth muscle cells of the tunica media. Aortic cells that are positively stained by antibodies to desmin were observed. The presence of desmin in aortic tissue was also demonstrated by gel electrophoresis for rat, cow and chicken. In aortic tissue, some smooth muscle cells contain both types of intermediate filament proteins, vimentin and desmin. Bovine aorta contains, besides cells in which vimentin and desmin seem to co-exist, distinct bundles of smooth muscle cells located in outer regions of the tunica media which contain only desmin. Intermediate-sized filaments of both kinds, desmin and vimentin, can apparently occur in vascular smooth muscle in situ. Smooth muscle cells of the vascular system are apparently heterogeneous and can be distinguished by their intermediate filament proteins. The finding of different vascular smooth muscle cells is discussed in relation to development and differentiation of the vascular system.