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A morphometric study of vascular smooth muscle cells in culture

A morphometric study of vascular smooth muscle cells in culture

In Vitro 16(4): 337-345

Cultured arterial smooth muscle cells derived from different times in culture, different passages, and different species were evaluated by a combination of transmission electron microscopy and morphometry. The morphometric studies focused on point counting and monitored the following cellular components: lysosomes, myofilaments, mitochondria, ribosomes, and rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). Percent volume composition values for the organelles involved in protein synthesis, namely ribosomes and RER, show significant fluctuations with time. Consistent with these observations, the cells showed increasing myofilaments during the early weeks in culture, which subsequently decreased significantly. The data also indicate that rabbit cells in culture may become synthetically quiescent with time and the distribution of cellular components is altered with each succeeding passage. Cultured calf (bovine) cells exhibit similar activity periods compared to rabbit but show a significantly higher lysosomal and lower myofilament content than rabbit. Calf cells could not be maintained for longer than 21 days in the absence of ascorbate, whereas ascorbate affects the ultrastructure of rabbit cells less dramatically. Age, passage, and donor, among others, are important considerations for studying in vitro smooth muscle cells. With proper morphologic and morphometric monitoring, these smooth muscle cell culture systems can be important tools in the study of aging or pathologic processes, or both.

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Accession: 042080647

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7190547

DOI: 10.1007/bf02618340

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