In the present study, we focus on the proliferation of human arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) from NIDDM patients (DM-SMCs) to clarify the reactivity to the growth factor(s) in fetal calf serum (FCS) and the factors) secreted by T-cells. The proliferation of DM-SMCs was significantly greater than SMCs from nondiabetic patients (nonDM-SMC). DM-SMC conditioned medium (DM-condMed) increased the growth of nonDM-SMCs. These results suggest that the growth factor is secreted from DM-SMCs as an autocrine system, which increases the proliferation of nonDM-SMCs. T-cells increased DNA synthesis of SMCs, and DM-SMCs strikingly reacted to T-cells. The present results support a function of T-cells in stimulating SMC growth. In conclusion, human arterial SMC proliferation is increased in diabetes in the same fashion as in experimentally induced diabetes in animals through responses to growth factors and an increased autocrine system. These results provide a mechanism for the increase in atherosclerotic disease in diabetes.

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