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1.  PDGF-BB modulates endothelial proliferation and angiogenesis in vitro via PDGF beta-receptors 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;125(4):917-928.
To delineate potential angiogenic roles of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), we have investigated PDGF and its receptors on bovine aortic endothelial cells that exhibit spontaneous angiogenesis in vitro (angiogenic endothelial cells). Initiation of cord/tube formation by angiogenic endothelial cells required bovine or human serum. Neutralization of PDGF-BB in human serum with a monoclonal anti-PDGF-BB antibody reduced cord/tube formation by 37 +/- 10%, whereas neutralizing anti-PDGF-AA and an IgG isotype-matched control antibody had no effect. DNA synthesis in response to PDGF-BB increased as the cords and tubes developed; furthermore, PDGF-BB induced the incorporation of BrdU in the nuclei of cells associated with these structures. PDGF beta-receptor (PDGF-beta) mRNA increased concomitantly with cord/tube formation, and PDGFR-beta were specifically localized by immunocytochemistry to developing and mature cords and tubes. However, PDGFR-beta transcripts and protein were undetectable in nonangiogenic endothelial cells, and PDGF alpha-receptor mRNA was not expressed in either endothelial cell strain. In contrast to nonangiogenic endothelial cells, angiogenic endothelial cells did not express the PDGF B-chain, the required ligand for the PDGFR-beta. We conclude that (a) PDGF-BB can contribute to angiogenesis in vitro, (b) PDGFR-beta are specific for cord/tube-forming endothelial cells and mediate endothelial proliferation and cord/tube formation, and (c) in angiogenic and nonangiogenic endothelial cells, the expression of PDGFR- beta and PDGF B-chain is inversely correlated. We therefore suggest that paracrine PDGF might amplify angiogenesis via direct action on endothelially expressed PDGFR-beta.
PMCID: PMC2120083  PMID: 7514607
2.  PDGF mediates cardiac microvascular communication. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;102(4):837-843.
The diversity of cellular and tissue functions within organs requires that local communication circuits control distinct populations of cells. Recently, we reported that cardiac myocytes regulate the expression of both von Willebrand factor (vWF) and a transgene with elements of the vWF promoter in a subpopulation of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (J. Cell Biol. 138:1117). The present study explores this communication. Histological examination of the cardiac microvasculature revealed colocalization of the vWF transgene with the PDGF alpha-receptor. Transcript analysis demonstrated that in vitro cardiac microvascular endothelial cells constitutively express PDGF-A, but not B. Cardiac myocytes induced endothelial expression of PDGF-B, resulting in PDGF-AB. Protein measurement and transcript analysis revealed that PDGF-AB, but not PDGF-AA, induced endothelial expression of vWF and its transgene. Antibody neutralization of PDGF-AB blocked the myocyte-mediated induction. Immunostaining demonstrated that vWF induction is confined to PDGF alpha-receptor-positive endothelial cells. Similar experiments revealed that the PDGF-AB/alpha-receptor communication also induces expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and Flk-1, critical components of angiogenesis. The existence of this communication pathway was confirmed in vivo. Injection of PDGF-AB neutralizing antibody into the amniotic fluid surrounding murine embryos extinguished expression of the transgene. In summary, these studies suggest that environmental induction of PDGF-AB/alpha-receptor interaction is central to the regulation of cardiac microvascular endothelial cell hemostatic and angiogenic activity.
PMCID: PMC508947  PMID: 9710453
3.  Regulation of proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts derived from adult mouse skeletal muscle by specific isoforms of PDGF 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1990;111(4):1623-1629.
The expression of receptors and the mitogenic response to PDGF by C2 myoblasts, derived from adult mouse skeletal muscle, was investigated. Employing 125I-PDGF binding assays, we showed that the cells exhibit high level binding of PDGF-BB (approximately 165 x 10(3) molecules/cell at saturation) and much lower binding of the PDGF-AA and PDGF-AB (6-12 x 10(3) molecules/cell at saturation). This indicates that the C2 myoblasts express high levels of PDGF receptor beta-subunits and low levels of alpha-subunits. PDGF-BB enhances the proliferation of C2 cells maintained in 2% FCS by about fivefold. PDGF-AB had a moderate effect on cell proliferation (less than twofold) and PDGF-AA had no effect. Inverse effects of PDGF isoforms on the frequency of differentiated myoblasts were observed; the frequency of myosin- positive cells was reduced in the presence of PDGF-BB while PDGF-AA and PDGF-AB had no effect. PDGF may thus act to increase the number of myoblasts that participate in muscle regeneration following muscle trauma by stimulating the proliferation and by inhibiting the differentiation of myogenic cells.
PMCID: PMC2116257  PMID: 2211828
4.  Ras signaling directs endothelial specification of VEGFR2+ vascular progenitor cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;181(1):131-141.
Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) transmits signals of crucial importance to vasculogenesis, including proliferation, migration, and differentiation of vascular progenitor cells. Embryonic stem cell–derived VEGFR2+ mesodermal cells differentiate into mural lineage in the presence of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)–BB or serum but into endothelial lineage in response to VEGF-A. We found that inhibition of H-Ras function by a farnesyltransferase inhibitor or a knockdown technique results in selective suppression of VEGF-A–induced endothelial specification. Experiments with ex vivo whole-embryo culture as well as analysis of H-ras−/− mice also supported this conclusion. Furthermore, expression of a constitutively active H-Ras[G12V] in VEGFR2+ progenitor cells resulted in endothelial differentiation through the extracellular signal-related kinase (Erk) pathway. Both VEGF-A and PDGF-BB activated Ras in VEGFR2+ progenitor cells 5 min after treatment. However, VEGF-A, but not PDGF-BB, activated Ras 6–9 h after treatment, preceding the induction of endothelial markers. VEGF-A thus activates temporally distinct Ras–Erk signaling to direct endothelial specification of VEGFR2+ vascular progenitor cells.
PMCID: PMC2287293  PMID: 18391074
5.  Overexpression of vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors in psoriasis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1994;180(3):1141-1146.
Psoriatic skin is characterized by microvascular hyperpermeability and angioproliferation, but the mechanisms responsible are unknown. We report here that the hyperplastic epidermis of psoriatic skin expresses strikingly increased amounts of vascular permeability factor (VPF; vascular endothelial growth factor), a selective endothelial cell mitogen that enhances microvascular permeability. Moreover, two VPF receptors, kdr and flt-1, are overexpressed by papillary dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Transforming growth factor alpha (TGF- alpha), a cytokine that is also overexpressed in psoriatic epidermis, induced VPF gene expression by cultured epidermal keratinocytes. VPF secreted by TGF-alpha-stimulated keratinocytes was bioactive, as demonstrated by its mitogenic effect on dermal microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Together, these findings suggest that TGF- alpha regulates VPF expression in psoriasis by an autocrine mechanism, leading to vascular hyperpermeability and angiogenesis. Similar mechanisms may operate in tumors and in healing skin wounds which also commonly express both VPF and TGF-alpha.
PMCID: PMC2191647  PMID: 8064230
6.  Myc Is an Essential Negative Regulator of Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Beta Receptor Expression 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(18):6768-6778.
Platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF BB) is a potent mitogen for fibroblasts as well as many other cell types. Interaction of PDGF BB with the PDGF β receptor (PDGF-βR) activates numerous signaling pathways and leads to a decrease in receptor expression on the cell surface. PDGF-βR downregulation is effected at two levels, the immediate internalization of ligand-receptor complexes and the reduction in pdgf-βr mRNA expression. Our studies show that pdgf-βr mRNA suppression is regulated by the c-myc proto-oncogene. Both constitutive and inducible ectopic Myc protein can suppress pdgf-βr mRNA and protein. Suppression of pdgf-βr mRNA in response to Myc is specific, since expression of the related receptor pdgf-αr is not affected. We further show that Myc suppresses pdgf-βr mRNA expression by a mechanism which is distinguishable from Myc autosuppression. Analysis of c-Myc-null fibroblasts demonstrates that Myc is required for the repression of pdgf-βr mRNA expression in quiescent fibroblasts following mitogen stimulation. In addition, it is evident that the Myc-mediated repression of pdgf-βr mRNA levels plays an important role in the regulation of basal pdgf-βr expression in proliferating cells. Thus, our studies suggest an essential role for Myc in a negative-feedback loop regulating the expression of the PDGF-βR.
PMCID: PMC86202  PMID: 10958674
7.  Cell-type-specific expression of the platelet-derived growth factor alpha receptor: a role for GATA-binding protein. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(2):712-723.
Platelet-derived growth factor alpha receptor (PDGF alpha R) is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor for all three existing PDGF isoforms, AA, AB, and BB. Transcripts of PDGF alpha R are detected as early as in fertilized mouse eggs and throughout adulthood in a time- and space-specific manner, thereby suggesting an important role of PDGFs in mammalian development. In this study, we have investigated the mechanism involved in cell-type-specific PDGF alpha R gene expression during early embryonic development. Using F9 embryonic carcinoma cells as an in vitro study model, we identified a differentiation-dependent enhancer element within the PDGF alpha R promoter that controlled receptor expression during parietal endoderm cell differentiation induced by retinoic acid and dibutyryl cyclic AMP treatment. The differentiation-dependent enhancer element sequence bore no resemblance to consensus DNA-binding sites of either the retinoic acid receptor family or the cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein family. It was composed of two identical 12-bp direct repeats separated by a 17-bp insert sequence enriched in C and A nucleotides. Although only a single repeat was needed to form specific DNA-protein complexes with factors present in F9 parietal endoderm cell extracts, both repeats together were necessary to display cell-type-specific enhancing activity. Mutational analysis revealed that the protein-binding sites within the repeat sequences were identical to GATA-binding sites. In this study, we provided evidence to suggest that a member of the GATA transcription factor family (GATA-4) is responsible for parietal endoderm-specific PDGF alpha R expression.
PMCID: PMC231051  PMID: 8552100
8.  In Vitro Effects of PDGF Isoforms (AA, BB, AB and CC) on Migration and Proliferation of SaOS-2 Osteoblasts and on Migration of Human Osteoblasts 
PDGF is a major constituent of platelet rich plasma (PRP), responsible of chemotactic and possibly of mitogenic effects of PRP on osteoblasts. PDGF family includes 5 isoforms: PDGF-AA, PDGF-AB, PDGF-BB, PDGF-CC and PDGF-DD, all expressed in platelets except PDGF-DD. Aim of this study was to analyze the effect of recombinant hPDGF-A, -AB, -B and -C, on migration and proliferation of a human osteoblastic cell line, SaOS-2. Preliminary observations on cell migration were also done in primary cultures of human osteoblasts. In vitro microchemotaxis and 3H-thymidine mitogenic assays were used. While PDGF-AB is active at concentrations present in PRP, PDGF-AA and BB are chemotactic only at much higher doses. PDGF-C is totally inactive alone or together with the active isoforms. PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB and PDGF-C stimulate SaOS-2 proliferation only at the highest dose tested, while PDGF-AB is ineffective. Primary osteoblasts are less sensitive than SaOS-2 and progressively lose responsiveness with increasing passages in culture, in line with loss of cell differentiation. The different PDGF isoforms act differentially on osteoblasts, the-AB isoform appearing the major responsible of the PRP chemiotaxis. PDGF, at the concentrations present in PRP, does not affect cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3614801  PMID: 23675162
migration; osteoblasts; PDGF isoforms;; PRP; SaOS-2-cells
9.  Platelet-derived growth factor receptors on macrovascular endothelial cells mediate relaxation via nitric oxide in rat aorta. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;89(3):878-882.
The effects of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) were studied in isolated rings of rat aorta contracted submaximally to phenylephrine. The BB isoform of PDGF elicited relaxation in rings with endothelium and further contraction in rings without endothelium. Both the endothelium-dependent relaxation and endothelium-independent contraction occurred at concentrations known to induce PDGF receptor-mediated responses in cultured cells. Furthermore, the relaxation was isoform specific. This conclusion is supported by the unique ability of PDGF-BB to induce endothelium-dependent relaxations, as well as by studies showing isoform specific, concentration-dependent desensitization of PDGF-BB relaxation. The relaxation induced by PDGF-BB was prevented by N omega-nitro-L-arginine. It was also observed that endothelium-independent contractions to the AB and AA isoforms of PDGF were less than those to PDGF-BB. Contrary to the widely held view that PDGF receptors are not present on the endothelium of macrovessels, these studies provide evidence for an endothelium-dependent, nitric oxide mediated relaxation of rat aorta caused by PDGF via PDGF beta beta-receptors.
PMCID: PMC442933  PMID: 1311719
10.  Over-Expression of PDGFR-β Promotes PDGF-Induced Proliferation, Migration, and Angiogenesis of EPCs through PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30503.
The proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play critical roles in postnatal neovascularization and re-endothelialization following vascular injury. Here we evaluated whether the over-expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) can enhance the PDGF-BB-stimulated biological functions of EPCs through the PDGFR-β/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. We first confirmed the expression of endogenous PDGFR-β and its plasma membrane localization in spleen-derived EPCs. We then demonstrated that the PDGFR-β over-expression in EPCs enhanced the PDGF-BB-induced proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis of EPCs. Using AG1295 (a PDGFR kinase inhibitor), LY294002 (a PI3K inhibitor), and sc-221226 (an Akt inhibitor), we further showed that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway participates in the PDGF-BB-induced proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis of EPCs. In addition, the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway is required for PDGFR-β over-expression to enhance these PDGF-BB-induced phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3280261  PMID: 22355314
11.  Chrysotile asbestos upregulates gene expression and production of alpha-receptors for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AA) on rat lung fibroblasts. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;92(1):425-430.
PDGF isoforms have been postulated to serve as mediators of fibroblast proliferation and chemotaxis during lung fibrogenesis induced by asbestos inhalation. We have studied the interaction of chrysotile asbestos fibers with rat lung fibroblasts (RLF) in vitro and the consequent changes in PDGF receptor mRNA expression, PDGF binding, and mitogenic activity of PDGF isoforms. Northern blot analysis revealed that mRNA for the PDGF-receptor alpha subtype (PDGF-R alpha) on RLF was upregulated after a 24-h exposure to asbestos in culture (0.5-15 micrograms fibers/cm2). [125I]PDGF-BB receptor assays showed that normal RLF possess mainly PDGF-R beta and a paucity of PDGF-R alpha. In agreement with the Northern data, saturation binding of [125I]PDGF-BB to RLF exposed to asbestos demonstrated an approximately 40% increase in binding sites accompanied by a twofold decrease in receptor affinity. Treating asbestos-exposed RLF with PDGF-AA, which binds only PDGF-R alpha, blocked the PDGF binding sites that were upregulated by fiber exposure. PDGF-AA had increased mitogenic potency for fiber-exposed RLF, but PDGF-BB was a less potent mitogen for these RLF. Nonfibrogenic carbonyl iron spheres induced similar changes in PDGF growth responses. These data show that inorganic particulates alter the PDGF-R alpha population on RLF without significant change in PDGF-R beta.
PMCID: PMC293628  PMID: 8392089
12.  Therapeutic targeting of the PDGF and TGF-β-signaling pathways in hepatic stellate cells by PTK787/ZK22258 
Stimulation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is an essential pathway of proliferation and fibrogenesis, respectively, in liver fibrosis. We provide evidence that PTK787/ZK222584 (PTK/ZK), a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), significantly inhibits PDGF receptor expression, as well as PDGF-simulated HSC proliferation, migration and phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Akt and p70S6 kinase. Interestingly, PTK/ZK also antagonizes the TGF-β1-induced expression of VEGF and VEGFR1. Furthermore, PTK/ZK downregulates TGF-β receptor expression, which is associated with reduced Akt, ERK and p38MAPK phosphorylation. Furthermore, PDGF-induced TGF-β1 expression is inhibited by PTK/ZK. These findings provide evidence that PTK/ZK targets multiple essential pathways of stellate cell activation that provoke proliferation and fibrogenesis. Our study underscores the potential use of PTK/ZK as an antifibrotic drug in chronic liver disease.
PMCID: PMC2891536  PMID: 19668241
Akt; HSC; PDGF; PTK787/ZK22258; TGF-β1
13.  Human neuroblastoma cells express alpha and beta platelet-derived growth factor receptors coupling with neurotrophic and chemotactic signaling. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;92(3):1153-1160.
Both platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) A- and B-chains are expressed in mammalian neurons, but their precise roles still remain to be clarified. In the present studies, we examined the expression of two PDGF receptor genes in human tumor cell lines derived from neural crest. The expression of alpha and/or beta PDGF receptors was detected in a wide variety of neural crest-derived human tumor cell lines such as neuroblastoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and Ewing's sarcoma by RNA blot analysis, and confirmed by immunoblot analysis. We have also demonstrated that PDGF receptors on the human neuroblastoma cell lines were biologically functional. Accordingly, chemotactic and mitogenic activities were induced by either PDGF-AA or PDGF-BB in serum-free medium. PDGF isoforms as well as nerve growth factor induced morphological changes showing neuronal cell maturation. Moreover, PDGF coordinately increased the levels of the transcript of the midsize neurofilament gene. The neuroblastoma cell lines also expressed the transcripts of PDGF A- and B-chains. These findings suggest that PDGF isoforms are involved not only in the promotion of the neuroblastoma cell growth, but also in neuronal cell migration, growth, and differentiation in human brain development.
PMCID: PMC288252  PMID: 8376577
14.  Senescent Impairment in Synergistic Cytokine Pathways That Provide Rapid Cardioprotection in the Rat Heart 
Pretreatment of rodent hearts with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)–AB decreases myocardial injury after coronary occlusion. However, PDGF-AB cardioprotection is diminished in older animals, suggesting that downstream elements mediating and/or synergizing the actions of PDGF-AB may be limited in aging cardiac vasculature. In vitro PDGF-AB induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin (Ang)-2 expression in 4-mo-old rat cardiac endothelial cells, but not in 24-mo-old heart cells. In vivo injection of young hearts with PDGF-AB increased densities of microvessels staining for VEGF and its receptor, Flk-1, and Ang-2 and its receptor, Tie-2, as well as PDGF receptor (PDGFR)–α. In older hearts, PDGF-AB–mediated induction was primarily limited to PDGFR-α. Studies in a murine cardiac transplantation model demonstrated that synergist interactions of PDGF-AB plus VEGF plus Ang-2 (PVA) provided an immediate restoration of senescent cardiac vascular function. Moreover, PVA injection in young rat hearts, but not PDGF-AB alone or other cytokine combinations, at the time of coronary occlusion suppressed acute myocardial cell death by >50%. However, PVA also reduced the extent of myocardial infarction with an age-associated cardioprotective benefit (4-mo-old with 45% reduction vs. 24-mo-old with 24%; P < 0.05). These studies showed that synergistic cytokine pathways augmenting the actions of PDGF-AB are limited in older hearts, suggesting that strategies based on these interactions may provide age-dependent clinical cardiovascular benefit.
PMCID: PMC2212728  PMID: 15007092
platelet-derived growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factor; angiopoietin; myocardial infarction; apoptosis
15.  Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β, carrying the activating mutation D849N, accelerates the establishment of B16 melanoma 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:224.
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-β are mainly expressed in the developing vasculature, where PDGF-BB is produced by endothelial cells and PDGFR-β is expressed by mural cells, including pericytes. PDGF-BB is produced by most types of solid tumors, and PDGF receptor signaling participates in various processes, including autocrine stimulation of tumor cell growth, recruitment of tumor stroma fibroblasts, and stimulation of tumor angiogenesis. Furthermore, PDGF-BB-producing tumors are characterized by increased pericyte abundance and accelerated tumor growth. Thus, there is a growing interest in the development of tumor treatment strategies by blocking PDGF/PDGFR function. We have recently generated a mouse model carrying an activated PDGFR-β by replacing the highly conserved aspartic acid residue (D) 849 in the activating loop with asparagine (N). This allowed us to investigate, in an orthotopic tumor model, the role of increased stromal PDGFR-β signaling in tumor-stroma interactions.
B16 melanoma cells lacking PDGFR-β expression and either mock-transfected or engineered to express PDGF-BB, were injected alone or in combination with matrigel into mice carrying the activated PDGFR-β (D849N) and into wild type mice. The tumor growth rate was followed and the vessel status of tumors, i.e. total vessel area/tumor, average vessel surface and pericyte density of vessels, was analyzed after resection.
Tumors grown in mice carrying an activated PDGFR-β were established earlier than those in wild-type mice. In this early phase, the total vessel area and the average vessel surface were higher in tumors grown in mice carrying the activated PDGFR-β (D849N) compared to wild-type mice, whereas we did not find a significant difference in the number of tumor vessels and the pericyte abundance around tumor vessels between wild type and mutant mice. At later phases of tumor progression, no significant difference in tumor growth rate was observed between wild type mice and mutant mice, although the pericyte coverage was higher around tumor vessels from mutant mice.
Our findings suggest that the activated PDGFR-β (D849N) in the host animal increased the total vessel area and the average vessel surface even in PDGF-negative tumors, resulting in a shorter lag phase during tumor establishment.
PMCID: PMC2234427  PMID: 18076756
16.  Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Involvement in Myocardial Remodeling following Infarction 
Cardiac remodeling occurs in the infarcted heart (MI). The underlying regulatory mechanisms are under investigation. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a family of growth factors that stimulates cell growth, differentiation and migration. Herein, we sought to determine whether PDGF is involved in cardiac repair/remodeling following MI.
Methods and Results
The temporal and spatial expression of PDGF isoforms (A, B, C and D) and PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-α and β as well as cell types expressing PDGF were examined in the infarcted rat heart. Sham-operated rats served as controls. We found that the normal myocardium expressed all PDGF isoforms, and cell types expressing PDGF were primarily interstitial cells. Following MI, PDGF-A and D were significantly increased in the infarcted myocardium during 6 weeks of the observation period and cells expressing PDGF-A and D were primarily endothelial cells, macrophages and myofibroblasts (myoFb). PDGF-B and C expression was, however, reduced in the infarcted heart. In the noninfarcted myocardium, PDGF-D expression was increased in the late stage of MI and cells expressing PDGF-D were predominantly fibroblasts. Both PDGFR-α and β were significantly increased in the infarcted myocardium in the early and late stages of MI and in the noninfarcted myocardium in the late stage of MI.
Enhanced PDGF-A, PDGF-D and PDGFR are coincident with angiogenesis, inflammatory and fibrogenic responses in the infarcted myocardium, suggesting their regulation on cardiac repair. Elevated PDGF-D in the noninfarcted myocardium suggests its involvement in the development of interstitial fibrosis that appears in the late stage of MI.
PMCID: PMC3628689  PMID: 21767547
Myocardial infarction; cardiac repair/remodeling; PDGF; PDGFR
17.  Combining Molecular Targeted Drugs to Inhibit Both Cancer Cells and Activated Stromal Cells in Gastric Cancer1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2013;15(12):1391-1399.
Recent studies have revealed that PDGF plays a role in promoting progressive tumor growth in several cancers, including gastric cancer. Cancer-associated fibroblasts, pericytes, and lymphatic endothelial cells in stroma express high levels of PDGF receptor (PDGF-R); cancer cells and vascular endothelial cells do not. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that increases the production of proteins that stimulate key cellular processes such as cell growth and proliferation, cell metabolism, and angiogenesis. In the present study, we examined the effects of PDGF-R tyrosine kinase inhibitor (nilotinib) and mTOR inhibitor (everolimus) on tumor stroma in an orthotopic nude mice model of human gastric cancer. Expression of PDGF-B and PDGF-Rβ mRNAs was associated with stromal volume. Treatment with nilotinib did not suppress tumor growth but significantly decreased stromal reactivity, lymphatic invasion, lymphatic vessel area, and pericyte coverage of tumor microvessels. In contrast, treatment with everolimus decreased tumor growth and microvessel density but not stromal reactivity. Nilotinib and everolimus in combination reduced both the growth rate and stromal reaction. Target molecule-based inhibition of cancer-stromal cell interaction appears promising as an effective antitumor therapy.
PMCID: PMC3884530  PMID: 24403861
18.  Covalently immobilized platelet-derived growth factor-BB promotes angiogenesis in biomimetic poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels 
Acta biomaterialia  2010;7(1):133-143.
The field of tissue engineering is severely limited by a lack of microvascularization in tissue engineered constructs. Biomimetic poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels containing covalently immobilized platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) were developed to promote angiogenesis. Poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels resist protein absorption and subsequent non-specific cell adhesion, thus providing a “blank slate”, which can be modified through the incorporation of cell adhesive ligands and growth factors. PDGF-BB is a key angiogenic protein able to support neovessel stabilization by inducing functional anastomoses and recruiting pericytes. Due to the widespread effects of PDGF in the body and a half-life of only 30 min in circulating blood, immobilization of PDGF-BB may be necessary. In this work bioactive, covalently immobilized PDGF-BB was shown to induce tubulogenesis on two-dimensional modified surfaces, migration in three-dimensional (3D) degradable hydrogels and angiogenesis in a mouse cornea micro-pocket angiogenesis assay. Covalently immobilized PDGF-BB was also used in combination with covalently immobilized fibroblast growth factor-2, which led to significantly increased endothelial cell migration in 3D degradable hydrogels compared with the presentation of each factor alone. When a co-culture of endothelial cells and mouse pericyte precursor 10T1/2 cells was seeded onto modified surfaces tubule formation was independent of surface modifications with covalently immobilized growth factors. Furthermore, the combination of soluble PDGF-BB and immobilized PDGF-BB induced a more robust vascular response compared with soluble PDGF-BB alone when implanted into an in vivo mouse cornea micropocket angiogenesis assay. Based on these results, we believe bioactive hydrogels can be tailored to improve the formation of functional microvasculature for tissue engineering.
PMCID: PMC3049810  PMID: 20801242
Angiogenesis; Hydrogel; Poly(ethylene glycol); Platelet-derived growth factor; Biofunctional materials
19.  Human keratinocytes are a major source of cutaneous platelet-derived growth factor. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;92(2):671-678.
PDGF has been implicated as one of the principal mitogens involved in cutaneous wound healing. While it has been previously reported that both platelets and monocytes are a source of PDGF in human dermal wound repair, the production of PDGF by human keratinocytes has not yet been described. In this manuscript, we report the production of PDGF by cultured human keratinocytes. Both PDGF A and B chain mRNA can be detected in cultured cells. While only PDGF-AA polypeptide is found in significant levels in keratinocyte-conditioned culture media, all three PDGF isoforms (AA, AB, and BB) are present in detergent-solubilized cell extracts. No evidence of PDGF receptor expression was observed in cultured keratinocytes when analyzed for either mRNA levels or polypeptide expression, suggesting that PDGF does not play an autocrine role in keratinocyte growth. Analysis of cryosections of human cutaneous wounds by immunostaining for PDGF showed that both PDGF A and B chain is constitutively expressed in normal epidermis, as well as in newly reconstituted wound epidermis. No evidence for PDGF receptor polypeptide expression in the epidermis was detected by immunostaining of cryosections.
PMCID: PMC294900  PMID: 8349805
20.  SDF-1α induces PDGF- B expression and the differentiation of bone marrow cells into pericytes 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2011;9(11):1462-1470.
Platelet derived growth factor B (PDGF-B) and its receptor, PDGFR-β, play a critical role in pericyte maturation; however, the mechanisms by which PDGF-B is up-regulated in the tumor microenvironment remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that up-regulating stromal-derived factor, SDF-1α, in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165)-inhibited Ewing’s sarcoma tumors (TC/siVEGF7-1) induced PDGF-B mRNA expression, increased infiltration and differentiation of bone marrow cells (BMCs) into pericytes and, rescued tumor growth. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which SDF-1α increased PDGF-B expression and the role of this pathway in BM-derived pericyte differentiation. We demonstrated that SDF-1α induced expression of PDGF-B mRNA and protein both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, inhibiting SDF-1α down-regulated PDGF-B. We cloned the 2-kb pdgf-b promoter fragment and showed that SDF-1α activates PDGF-B via a transcriptional mechanism. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that the ELK-1 transcription factor binds to the pdgf-b promoter in response to SDF-1α. We confirmed the correlation between the SDF-1α/PDGF-B pathway and the differentiation of PDGFR-β+ BMCs into mature pericytes using an in vitro assay. These findings demonstrate that SDF-1α regulates PDGF-B expression and that this regulation plays a critical role in the differentiation of PDGFR-β+ BMCs into mature pericytes.
PMCID: PMC3219839  PMID: 21911740
21.  Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A Competitively Inhibits Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)-Dependent Activation of PDGF Receptor and Subsequent Signaling Events and Cellular Responses 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(10):1955-1966.
Certain platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) isoforms are associated with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), a sight-threatening complication that develops in a subset of patients recovering from retinal reattachment surgery. Although these PDGF isoforms are abundant in the vitreous of patients and experimental animals with PVR, they make only a minor contribution to activating PDGF receptor α (PDGFRα) and driving experimental PVR. Rather, growth factors outside of the PDGF family are the primary (and indirect) agonists of PDGFRα. These observations beg the question of why vitreal PDGFs fail to activate PDGFRα. We report here that vitreous contains an inhibitor of PDGF-dependent activation of PDGFRα and that a major portion of this inhibitory activity is due to vascular endothelial cell growth factor A (VEGF-A). Furthermore, recombinant VEGF-A competitively blocks PDGF-dependent binding and activation of PDGFR, signaling events, and cellular responses. These findings unveil a previously unappreciated relationship between distant members of the PDGF/VEGF family that may contribute to pathogenesis of a blinding eye disease.
PMCID: PMC3347401  PMID: 22431518
22.  Dietary Restriction Promotes Vessel Maturation in a Mouse Astrocytoma 
Journal of Oncology  2011;2012:264039.
Mature vasculature contains an endothelial cell lining with a surrounding sheath of pericytes/vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Tumor vessels are immature and lack a pericyte sheath. Colocalization of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGF-Rβ) reduces pericyte ensheathment of tumor vessels. We found that a 30% dietary restriction (DR) enhanced vessel maturation in the mouse CT-2A astrocytoma. DR reduced microvessel density and VEGF expression in the astrocytoma, while increasing recruitment of pericytes, positive for alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Moreover, DR reduced colocalization of VEGF-R2 and PDGF-Rβ, but did not reduce total PDGF-Rβ expression. These findings suggest that DR promoted vessel normalization by preventing VEGF-induced inhibition of the PDGF signaling axis in pericytes. DR appears to shift the tumor vasculature from a leaky immature state to a more mature state. We suggest that vessel normalization could improve delivery of therapeutic drugs to brain tumors.
PMCID: PMC3255299  PMID: 22253625
23.  The Growth Factor Midkine Antagonizes VEGF Signaling In Vitro and In Vivo1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2008;10(4):340-346.
Midkine (MDK) is a heparin-binding growth factor involved in growth, survival, migration, and differentiation of various target cells and dysregulation of MDK signaling is implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases and cancers. Although MDK has been reported to act on endothelial cells and to have proangiogenic effects, the exact role of MDK in angiogenesis is poorly defined. Here, we report that MDK is actually a modulator of angiogenesis and that it can abrogate the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A)-induced proliferation of human microvascular endothelial cells in vitro through the downregulation of proangiogenic cytokines and through the upregulation of the antiangiogenic factor, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2. Phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and of downstream signaling molecules, such as phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinases, is also impaired. Moreover, MDK downregulates VEGF-A-induced neovascularization and vascular permeability in vivo. We propose a model in which MDK is a new modulator of the VEGF-A-VEGFR-2 axis.
PMCID: PMC2288540  PMID: 18392135
24.  Transforming Growth Factor β Inhibits Platelet Derived Growth Factor-Induced Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation via Akt-Independent, Smad-Mediated Cyclin D1 Downregulation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79657.
In adult tissue, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exist in a differentiated phenotype, which is defined by the expression of contractile proteins and lack of proliferation. After vascular injury, VSMC adopt a synthetic phenotype associated with proliferation, migration and matrix secretion. The transition between phenotypes is a consequence of the extracellular environment, and in particular, is regulated by agonists such as the pro-differentiating cytokine transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and the pro-proliferative cytokine platelet derived growth factor (PDGF). In this study, we investigated the interplay between TGFβ and PDGF with respect to their ability to regulate VSMC proliferation. Stimulation of human aortic VSMC with TGFβ completely blocked proliferation induced by all isoforms of PDGF, as measured by DNA synthesis and total cell number. Mechanistically, PDGF-induced Cyclin D1 mRNA and protein expression was inhibited by TGFβ. TGFβ had no effect on PDGF activation of its receptor and ERK1/2, but inhibited Akt activation. However, constitutively active Akt did not reverse the inhibitory effect of TGFβ on Cyclin D1 expression even though inhibition of the proteasome blocked the effect of TGFβ. siRNA against Smad4 completely reversed the inhibitory effect of TGFβ on PDGF-induced Cyclin D1 expression and restored proliferation in response to PDGF. Moreover, siRNA against KLF5 prevented Cyclin D1 upregulation by PDGF and overexpression of KLF5 partially reversed TGFβ-induced inhibition of Cyclin D1 expression. Taken together, our results demonstrate that KLF5 is required for PDGF-induced Cyclin D1 expression, which is inhibited by TGFβ via a Smad dependent mechanism, resulting in arrest of VSMCs in the G1 phase of the cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3827379  PMID: 24236150
25.  Coexpression of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and PDGF-receptor genes by primary human astrocytomas may contribute to their development and maintenance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1990;86(1):131-140.
The present studies investigated the expression of the two PDGF genes (c-sis/PDGF-2 and PDGF-1) and the PDGF-receptor b gene (PDGF-R) in 34 primary human astrocytomas. Northern blot analysis demonstrated the coexpression of the c-sis/PDGF-2 protooncogene and the PDGF-R gene in all astrocytomas examined. The majority of the tumors also expressed the PDGF-1 gene. There was no correlation between the expression of the two PDGF genes. Nonmalignant human brain tissue expressed the PDGF-R and PDGF-1 genes but not the c-sis/PDGF-2 protooncogene. In situ hybridization of astrocytoma tissue localized the expression of the c-sis and PDGF-R mRNA's in tumor cells. Capillary endothelial cells also expressed c-sis mRNA. In contrast, nonmalignant human brain tissue expressed only PDGF-R mRNA but not c-sis/PDGF-2 mRNA. The coexpression of a potent mitogenic growth factor protooncogene (c-sis) and its receptor gene in astrocytoma tumor cells suggests the presence of an autocrine mechanism that may contribute to the development and maintenance of astrocytomas. The expression of c-sis mRNA in tumor cells but not in nonmalignant brain cells may serve as an additional diagnostic criterion for the detection of astrocytomas in small tissue specimen using in situ hybridization for the detection of c-sis mRNA and/or immunostaining for the recognition of its protein product.
PMCID: PMC296700  PMID: 2164040

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