Thrombospondin, a high molecular weight glycoprotein secreted by platelets in response to activation by thrombin, has been identified by immunofluorescence in bovine aortic endothelial cells, human foreskin fibroblasts, and human aortic smooth muscle cells. Immunofluorescence patterns were found to be similar using antisera raised to thrombospondins purified either from bovine aortic endothelial cells or from human platelets. Radioimmune precipitation of pulse-labeled cellular proteins confirmed the presence of thrombospondin in positively stained cells. A sensitive quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed and used to determine that the accumulation of secreted thrombospondin was similar for endothelial cells and fibroblasts but was higher for smooth muscle cells. The presence of thrombospondin in a variety of cells suggests that its function may not be limited to an involvement in platelet interactions.

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