Cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells secrete a potent migration-stimulating factor for vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and adventitial fibroblasts. Vascular pericytes are 20-fold less responsive, and endothelial cells themselves do not respond at all. Checkerboard analysis of SMC migration in a micro-chemotaxis chamber assay shows that the factor is chemotactic. Chemotactic activity for SMCs and adventitial fibroblasts is specifically inhibited by antibodies against platelet-derived growth factor. Endothelial cells cultured on nitrocellulose filters secrete the platelet-derived growth factor-like factor almost exclusively into the basal compartment. We suggest that this factor plays an important role in the recruitment of vascular wall cells during the morphogenesis of blood vessels and pathological conditions, such as atherosclerosis.

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