• Toll-like receptor 4;
  • Lipopolysaccharide;
  • Smooth muscle cell


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a potent activator of cells of the immune and inflammatory systems, including macrophages, monocytes, and endothelial cells (EC). Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) has been identified as the primary receptor for LPS. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) likely contribute significantly to the inflammation induced by low-level LPS in patients who are at risk for atherosclerosis. Previous study indicated that functional TLR4 was present in VSMCs. However, it remains unclear whether low levels of commercial LPS preparations can affect TLR4 expression in early stage. Here Real-time quantitative PCR analysis was used to detect TLR4 mRNA expression; Immunofluorescence, Western blot analysis and flow cytometery were used to examine TLR4 protein expression. It was shown that TLR4 was present in Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells (HASMCs). LPS can up-regulate TLR4 mRNA and protein expression in HASMCs in dose- and time-dependant manner. These data indicate that LPS regulate TLR4 expression in HASMCs.