TRAIL promotes the survival, migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells

P. Secchiero, C. Zerbinati, E. Rimondi, F. Corallini, D. Milani, V. Grill, G. Forti, S. Capitani, G. Zauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human and rat primary sub-cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) showed clear expression of the death receptors TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2; however, recombinant soluble TRAIL did not induce cell death when added to these cells. TRAIL tended to protect rat VSMCs from apoptosis induced either by inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α+ interleukin-1β+ interferon-γ or by prolonged serum withdrawal, and promoted a significant increase in VSMC proliferation and migration. Of note, all the biological effects induced by TRAIL were significantly inhibited by pharmacological inhibitors of the ERK pathway. Western blot analysis consistently showed that TRAIL induced a significant activation of ERK1/2, and a much weaker phosphorylation of Akt, while it did not affect the p38/MAPK pathway. Taken together, these data strengthen the notion that the TRAIL/TRAIL-R system likely plays a role in the biology of the vascular system by affecting the survival, migration and proliferation of VSMCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1965-1974
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Apoptosis
  • Migration
  • Proliferation
  • Signal transduction
  • VSMCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


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