Vascular smooth muscle cells of recipient origin mediate intimal expansion after aortic allotransplantation in mice

Jing Li, Xiaozhou Han, Jifu Jiang, Robert Zhong, G. Melville Williams, J. Geoffrey Pickering, Lawrence H. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Intimal expansion by vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is a characteristic feature of graft vascular disease. Whether graft intimal SMCs arise from donor or recipient tissue is not well established but has important pathogenetic implications. We examined for the presence of male cells in the expanded intima of sex-mismatched mouse aortic allografts (C57BL/6to-BALB/c) at 30 or 60 days after transplant by in situ hybridization using a Y-chromosome probe. Study groups included male-to-female allografts, female-to-male allografts, and female-to-female allografts in recipients previously engrafted with male bone marrow. Although intimal expansion developed in all allografts, male-to-female allografts lacked Y-chromosome-positive intimal cells. In contrast, such cells were abundant in female-to-male allografts and most of these cells co-labeled for smooth muscle α-actin by immunostain. Female-to-female allografts in recipients with male bone marrow showed a limited number of intimal Y-chromosome-positive cells. However, none of these clearly co-labeled for smooth muscle α-actin and their numbers declined throughout time, consistent with graft-infiltrating inflammatory cells. We conclude that intimal expansion of mouse aortic allografts is mediated by SMCs that originated from the recipient. There was little evidence of their derivation from the bone marrow, suggesting instead the adjacent host aorta as the primary source of intimal SMCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1943-1947
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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