Effects of chemokine-like factor 1 on vascular smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation in vascular inflammation

Tao Zhang, Xiaoming Zhang, Weidong Yu, Jian Chen, Qingle Li, Yang Jiao, Peiying He, Chenyang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and proliferation are key components of vascular inflammation that may lead to atherosclerosis and restenosis, in which cytokines are considered as pivotal factors regarding recruitment of VSMC. A member of recently described family of chemokines, chemokine-like factor 1 (CKLF1), displays a wide spectrum of chemotaxis. This study investigated the role of CKLF1 in VSMC migration and proliferation during the process of vascular inflammation. Methods and results: : The effects of CKLF1 on migration, proliferation and neointimal formation were investigated in cultured VSMCs, rat balloon injured arteries and human atherosclerotic plaques. CKLF1 overexpression greatly enhanced, whereas shRNA knockdown markedly retarded, VSMC migration and proliferation in vitro. In addition, CKLF1 protein accumulated preferentially in neointima of the injured rat arteries in vivo. CKLF1 overexpression resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in intimal thickness. In contrast, shRNA-mediated CKLF1 knockdown significantly suppressed neointima formation by 70% compared that in control group. Intriguingly, besides animal model, higher level of CKLF1 was observed in human atherosclerotic plaques than that in normal arteries. Conclusion: CKLF1 plays an essential role in migration and proliferation of VSMCs, which in turn facilitated neointimal hyperplasia and atherosclerosis. Inhibition of CKLF1 activity provides a potential target for the prevention of atherosclerosis and restenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chemokine-like factor 1
  • Migration and proliferation
  • Neointima formation
  • Vascular smooth muscle cell


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