Phenotype changes of the vascular smooth muscle cell regulate P2 receptor expression as measured by quantitative RT-PCR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Studies using selective agonists have suggested that the contractile effect of extracellular nucleotides, such as ATP and UTP, in blood vessels is mediated mainly by P2X1 receptors with a smaller contribution of P2Y receptors while the mitogenic effect is mediated by P2Y (P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4, and P2Y6) receptors with no effect of P2X1 receptors. This indicates a difference in P2 receptor expression between the contractile and the synthetic phenotype of the SMC. To measure the expression of mRNA for these receptors a competitive RT-PCR assay was developed that utilised synthetic RNA-competitors allowing determination of the number of mRNA copies for each receptor in the samples. In the synthetic phenotype the mitogenic P2Y1 and P2Y2 receptor transcripts were upregulated by 342- and 8-fold, respectively, while the contractile P2X1 receptor is totally downregulated and the P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors were unchanged. This plasticity of the receptor expression may be important in the transition from the contractile to the synthetic SMC phenotype.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences


  • UTP, ATP, competitive RT-PCR, P2 receptors, mRNA quantification, synthetic phenotype
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-870
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch