UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Cellular and Molecular Physiology



Chronic treatment with fetal bovine serum (FBS) causes gradual vasoconstriction, vascular wall thickening, and contractility reduction in organ-cultured vascular tissues. We have previously demonstrated that Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitors prevent the functional alterations of small arteries in response to the FBS treatment. Here, we tested a further hypothesis that the chronic inhibition of ROCK has a protective effect on FBS-induced structural alterations.


To verify the new hypothesis, the rabbit mesenteric arterial rings were cultured in FBS-supplemented culture medium with or without Y-27632, a reversible ROCK inhibitor and then western blot, immunohistochemistry, apoptosis assay, and electron microscopy were performed using organ-cultured arterial rings.


Chronic treatment with Y-27632 maintained the arterial diameter by preventing FBS-induced gradual arterial constriction during organ culture. Y-27632 also reduced the apoptosis and the loss of contractile myosin and actin filaments of smooth muscle cells. In addition, Y-27632 protected the morphological integrity between the endothelial cell layer and smooth muscle cell layer by preventing endothelial cell detachment and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM) expression decrement.


Chronic ROCK inhibition provides protective effects against FBS-stimulated structural in addition to functional alterations of vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. These results strongly suggest that the RhoA/ROCK signaling is crucial for maintaining the structural and functional phenotypes of vasculature, and hence, chronic ROCK inhibition may provide protective effects on excessive growth factor-related vascular diseases including hypertension and atherosclerosis.


Cardiovascular disease, Artery, Fetal bovine serum, Organ culture, RhoA/ROCK signaling

Rights and Permissions

Copyright 2013 Huh et al.; licensee Springer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Huh et al. ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632, reduces FBSinduced structural alteration in organ-cultured mesenteric artery. Journal of Analytical Science and Technology 2013, 4:15. doi:10.1186/2093-3371-4-15. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Analytical Science and Technology