Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was first identified as a 38-kDa cysteine-rich protein which can be specifically induced by TGF-beta and was recently found to be expressed abundantly in atherosclerotic lesions, but only marginally in normal vascular tissues. It was hypothesized that CTGF is one of the factors involved in the development of atherosclerotic lesions. In this study, we investigated the functions of CTGF protein in regulating the growth and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and found that by overexpressing CTGF in VSMC, proliferation and migration rates were significantly increased. The accelerated growth and migration can be reversed by an anti-CTGF antibody. In addition, overexpression of CTGF also promotes VSMC to express more extracellular matrix protein collagen I and fibronectin. Our results indicate that CTGF is a growth factor for VSMC and it may play a similar role in promoting VSMC proliferation, migration, and formation of extracellular matrix, in vivo.