Perlecan is a multifunctional component of the extracellular matrix. It shows different effects on distinct cell types, and therefore it is thought to show potential for therapies targeting multiple cell types. However, the full range of multifunctionality of perlecan remains to be elucidated. We cultured various cell types, which were derived from epithelial/endothelial, connective and muscle tissues, in the presence of either antiserum against perlecan or exogenous perlecan, and examined the effects of perlecan on cell migration and proliferation. Cell migration was determined using a scratch assay. Blocking of perlecan by anti-perlecan antiserum inhibited the migration of vascular endothelial cells (VECs) and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, and exogenous perlecan added to the culture medium promoted the migration of these cell types. The migration of other cell types was inhibited or was not promoted by exogenous perlecan. Cell proliferation was measured using a water-soluble tetrazolium dye. When cells were cultured at low densities, perlecan blocking inhibited the proliferation of VECs, and exogenous perlecan promoted the proliferation of keratinocytes. In contrast, the proliferation of fibroblasts, pre-adipocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells cultured at low densities was inhibited by exogenous perlecan. When cells were cultured at high densities, perlecan blocking promoted the proliferation of most cell types, with the exception of skeletal system-derived cells (chondrocytes and osteoblasts), which were inhibited by exogenous perlecan. Our results provide an overview of the multiple functions of perlecan in various cell types, and implicate a potential role of perlecan to inhibit undesirable activities, such as fibrosis, obesity and intimal hyperplasia.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel