Our group has previously created a functional neointestine that is capable of restoring absorptive function. However, the endogenous level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is markedly reduced in the construct compared to native bowel. Therefore, we wanted to locally deliver VEGF in a sustained fashion to upregulate angiogenesis in the neointestine. Rat recombinant VEGF was encapsulated in poly (lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres by a double emulsion method. Release kinetics and bioactivity were determined in vitro. Tissue-engineered intestine was generated by seeding donor neonatal rat intestinal organoid units onto a biodegradable polyglycolic acid scaffold along with VEGF-containing or empty microspheres, and wrapped in the omentum of recipient rats. After four weeks, the neointestinal cysts were analyzed for morphometry, VEGF levels, epithelial proliferation, and capillary density. Sustained release of biologically active VEGF was confirmed by in vitro studies. Intestinal constructs with VEGF microspheres were significantly larger than those containing empty microspheres. Tissue VEGF levels were significantly higher in neointestine loaded with encapsulated VEGF compared to those without growth factor. Epithelial cellular proliferation and capillary density were significantly increased in the VEGF-containing neointestinal constructs compared to empty constructs. Tissue-engineered intestine responds to sustained delivery of VEGF by upregulating microvasculature and epithelial proliferation.
Mechanisms underlying successful composite tissue transplantation must include an analysis of transplant chimerism, which is little studied, particularly in calcified tissue. We have developed a new method enabling determination of lineage of selected cells in our model of vascularized bone allotransplantation.
Vascularized femoral allotransplantation was performed from female Dark Agouti (DA) donor rats to male Piebald Virol Glaxo (PVG) recipients, representing a major histocompatibility mismatch. 4 groups differed in use of immunosuppression (+/- 2 weeks Tacrolimus) and surgical revascularization, by implantation of either a patent or a ligated saphenous arteriovenous (AV) bundle. Results were assessed at 18 weeks. Bone blood flow was measured by the hydrogen washout technique and transverse specimens were prepared for histology. Real-time PCR was performed on DNA from laser capture microdissected cortical bone regions to determine the extent of chimerism. To do so, we analyzed the relative expression ratio of the sex-determining region Y (Sry) gene, specific only for recipient male rat DNA, to the cyclophilin housekeeper gene.
Substantial transplant chimerism was seen in cortical bone of all groups (range 77-97%). Rats without immunosuppression and with a patent AV bundle revealed significantly higher chimerism than those with immunosuppression and a ligated AV bundle, which maintained transplant cell viability. We describe a new method to study the extent of chimerism in rat vascularized bone allotransplants, including a sex-mismatched transplantation model, laser capture microdissection of selected bone regions, and calculation of the relative expression ratio.
microdissection; bone; allotransplant; real-time PCR; chimerism
We have previously described a means to maintain bone allotransplant viability, without long-term immune modulation, replacing allogenic bone vasculature with autogenous vessels. A rabbit model for whole knee joint transplantation was developed and tested using the same methodology, initially as an autotransplant.
Eight New Zealand White rabbit knee joints were elevated on a popliteal vessel pedicle to evaluate limb viability in a non-survival study. Ten additional joints were elevated and replaced orthotopically in a fashion identical to allotransplantation, obviating only microsurgical repairs and immunosuppression. A superficial inferior epigastric facial (SIEF) flap and a saphenous arteriovenous (AV) bundle were introduced into the femur and tibia respectively, generating a neoangiogenic bone circulation. In allogenic transplantation, this step maintains viability after cessation of immunosuppression. Sixteen weeks later, x-rays, microangiography, histology, histomorphometry and biomechanical analysis were performed.
Limb viability was preserved in the initial 8 animals. Both soft tissue and bone healing occurred in 10 orthotopic transplants. Surgical angiogenesis from the SIEF flap and AV bundle was always present. Bone and joint viability was maintained, with demonstrable new bone formation. Bone strength was less than the opposite side. Arthrosis and joint contractures were frequent.
We have developed a rabbit knee joint model and evaluation methods suitable for subsequent studies of whole joint allotransplantation.
A key mechanism for mesenchymal stem cells/bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) to promote tissue repair is by secretion of soluble growth factors (GFs). Therefore, clinical application could be optimized by a combination of cell and gene therapies, where MSCs are genetically modified to express higher levels of a specific factor. However, it remains unknown how this overexpression may alter the fate of the MSCs. Here, we show effects of overexpressing the growth factors, such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), platelet derived growth factor B (PDGF-BB), transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in human bone marrow-derived MSCs. Ectopic expression of bFGF or PDGF-B lead to highly proliferating MSCs and lead to a robust increase in osteogenesis. In contrast, adipogenesis was strongly inhibited in MSCs overexpressing PDGF-B and only mildly affected in MSCs overexpressing bFGF. Overexpression of TGF-β1 blocked both osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation while inducing the formation of stress fibers and increasing the expression of the smooth muscle marker calponin-1 and the chondrogenic marker collagen type II. In contrast, MSCs overexpressing VEGF did not vary from control MSCs in any parameters, likely due to the lack of VEGF receptor expression on MSCs. MSCs engineered to overexpress VEGF strongly induced the migration of endothelial cells and enhanced blood flow restoration in a xenograft model of hind limb ischemia. These data support the rationale for genetically modifying MSCs to enhance their therapeutically relevant trophic signals, when safety and efficacy can be demonstrated, and when it can be shown that there are no unwanted effects on their proliferation and differentiation.
Growth factors; Mesenchymal stem cells; Bone marrow stromal cells; Angiogenesis
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) are associated with increased angiogenesis, growth, and metastasis in solid tumors. But, until today, the importance of theses factors on leukemia, especially childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) has received limited attention. Therefore, this study examined the bone marrow plasma VEGF and bFGF levels in ALL patients and normal controls.
Patients and Methods
Bone marrow plasmas at diagnosis from 33 ALL patients (median age 5.9 years; range 1.8-13.9 years) were used for analysis. The bone marrow levels of bFGF and VEGF were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (R&D Systems) and compared with the bone marrow levels of 7 healthy control subjects (median age 11.98 years; 6 months -13.6 years).
Average VEGF was higher in relapse ALL (N=7, 216.6±79.9pg/mL) compared to standard (N=9, 36.8±12.1pg/mL) (p=0.013) or high risk ALL (N=17, 80.0±12.2pg/mL) (p=0.023). bFGF levels were also significantly higher in relapse than standard-, or high-risk ALL patients (relapse ALL; 48.6±15.4pg/mL, standard risk ALL; 18.9±5.5pg/mL, high risk ALL; 19.0±3.5pg/mL, normal control; 18.6±4.0pg/mL) (p=0.003). Three patients with refractory relapse and death had much higher VEGF and bFGF values (VEGF; 420.0±81.6pg/mL, bFGF; 85.6±3.2pg/mL).
Our data suggest that the increased levels of VEGF and bFGF in bone marrow may play an important role in prognosis of childhood ALL.
Angiogenesis factor; child; acute lymphocytic leukemia
Tooth infections or injuries involving dental pulp are treated routinely by root canal therapy. Endodontically treated teeth are devitalized, susceptible to re-infections, fractures, and subsequent tooth loss. Here, we report regeneration of dental-pulp-like tissue by cell homing and without cell transplantation. Upon in vivo implantation of endodontically treated real-size, native human teeth in mouse dorsum for the tested 3 weeks, delivery of basic fibroblast growth factor and/or vascular endothelial growth factor (bFGF and/or VEGF) yielded re-cellularized and revascularized connective tissue that integrated to native dentinal wall in root canals. Further, combined delivery of bFGF, VEGF, or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) with a basal set of nerve growth factor (NGF) and bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP7) generated cellularized and vascularized tissues positive of VEGF antibody staining and apparent neo-dentin formation over the surface of native dentinal wall in some, but not all, endodontically treated teeth. Newly formed dental pulp tissue appeared dense with disconnected cells surrounded by extracellular matrix. Erythrocyte-filled blood vessels were present with endothelial-like cell lining. Reconstructed, multiple microscopic images showed complete fill of dental-pulp-like tissue in the entire root canal from root apex to pulp chamber with tissue integration to dentinal wall upon delivery of bFGF, VEGF, or PDGF with a basal set of NGF and BMP7. Quantitative ELISA showed that combinatory delivery of bFGF, VEGF, or PDGF with basal NGF and BMP7 elaborated von Willerbrand factor, dentin sialoprotein, and NGF. These findings represent the first demonstration of regenerated dental-pulp-like tissue in endodontically treated root canals of real-size, native human teeth. The present chemotaxis-based approach has potent cell homing effects for re-cellularization and revascularization in endodontically treated root canals in vivo, although in an ectopic model. Regeneration of dental pulp by cell homing, rather than cell delivery, may accelerate clinical translation.
The host response to spinal cord injury can lead to an ischemic environment that can induce cell death and limits cell transplantation approaches to promote spinal cord regeneration. Spinal cord bridges that provide a localized and sustained release of VEGF and FGF-2 were investigated for their ability to promote angiogenesis and nerve growth within the injury. Bridges were fabricated by fusion of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres using a gas foaming/particulate leaching technique, and proteins were incorporated by encapsulation into the microspheres and/or mixing with the microspheres before foaming. Compared to the mixing method, encapsulation reduced the losses during leaching and had a slower protein release, while VEGF was released more rapidly than FGF-2. In vivo implantation of bridges loaded with VEGF enhanced the levels of VEGF within the injury at one week, and bridges releasing VEGF and FGF-2 increased the infiltration of endothelial cells and the formation of blood vessel at 6 weeks post implantation. Additionally, substantial neurofilament staining was observed within the bridge; however, no significant difference was observed between bridges with or without protein. Bridges releasing angiogenic factors may provide an approach to overcome an ischemic environment that limits regeneration and cell transplantation based approaches.
Spinal cord injury; angiogenesis; spinal cord bridges; PLG; protein delivery
Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that hepatocytes can transdifferentiate into biliary epithelium (BE) both in vivo and in vitro; however, the mechanisms are unclear. The current study was designed to investigate the mechanisms of hepatocyte transdifferentiation in vitro. Rat hepatocytes were cultured in roller bottles to obtain hepatocyte organoid cultures, which were stimulated with various growth factors (GFs) including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), stem cell factor (SCF), macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), fibroblast growth factor-a (FGF-a), fibroblast growth factor-b (FGF-b), and fibroblast growth factor-8b (FGF-8b). Only the cultures treated with HGF, EGF, and their combination exhibited formation of hepatocyte-derived biliary epithelium (BE) despite the presence and activation of all the pertinent cognate membrane receptors of the rest of the GFs. Microarray analysis of the organoid cultures identified specific up-regulation of approximately 500 target genes induced by HGF and EGF, including members of the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein family, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway, and CXC (cysteine-any amino acid-cysteine) chemokines. To investigate the downstream signaling involved in hepatocyte to biliary epithelial cell (BEC) transdifferentiation, we investigated expression and activities of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases [extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)] as well as serine/threonine kinase AKT. The analysis indicated that AKT phosphorylation was particularly increased in cultures treated with HGF, EGF, and their combination. Whereas phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 completely inhibited biliary epithelium formation, AKT inhibitor could only moderately reduce formation of BE in the organoid cultures treated with HGF+EGF. Most of the HGF+EGF target genes were altered by LY294002.
Taken together, these data indicate that hepatocyte to BE transdifferentiation is regulated by HGF and EGF receptors and that PI3 kinase–mediated signaling independent of AKT is a crucial component of the transdifferentiation process.
The aim was to investigate that a bio-degradable alginate and poly lactide-co-glycolide (PLG) system capable of delivering growth factors sequentially would be superior to single growth factor delivery in promoting neovascularization and improving perfusion.
Three groups of apoE null mice underwent unilateral hindlimb ischemia surgery and received ischemic limb intramuscular injections of alginate (Blank), alginate containing VEGF165 (VEGF), or alginate containing VEGF165 combined with PLG microspheres containing PDGF-BB (VEGF/PDGF). Vascularity in the ischemic hindlimb was assessed by morphologic and immunohistochemical end-points, while changes in blood flow were assessed by Laser Doppler Perfusion Index. Muscle VEGF and PDGF content was assessed at multiple time points.
In the VEGF/PDGF group, local tissue VEGF and PDGF levels peaked at week 2 and 4, respectively, with detectable PDGF levels at week 6. At week 6, mean vessel mean diameter was significantly greater in the VEGF/PDGF group compared to the VEGF or Blank groups with evidence of well-formed smooth muscle-lined arterioles.
Sequential delivery of VEGF and PDGF using an injectable, biodegradable platform resulted in stable and sustained improvements in perfusion. This sustained, control-released, injectable alginate polymer system is a promising approach for multiple growth factor delivery in clinical application.
alginate; angiogenesis; PDGF; polymer; VEGF
Using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay (CAM) and a novel histological technique we investigated the ability of blood vessels to directly invade fibrin-based scaffolds. In our initial experiments utilizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) we found no direct invasion. Instead, the fibrin was completely degraded and replaced with highly vascularized new tissue. Addition of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2), or platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) to the fibrin construct also did not result in construct vascularization. Because natural and regenerating tissues exhibit complex extracellular matrices (ECMs), we hypothesized that a more complex scaffold may improve blood vessel invasion. Addition of fibronectin, hyaluronic acid, and collagen type I within 20 mg/mL fibrin constructs resulted in no significant improvement. However, the same additive concentrations within 10 mg/mL fibrin constructs resulted in dramatic improvements, specifically with hyaluronic acid. Overall, we believe these results indicate the importance of structural and functional cues of not only in the initial scaffold but also as the construct is degraded and remodeled. Furthermore, the CAM assay may represent a useful model for understanding ECM interactions as well as for screening and designing tissue engineered scaffolds.
extracellular matrix; angiogenesis; fibrin; histology; quantum dots
Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are two key regulators of placental angiogenesis. The potent vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) could also act as a key mediator of FGF2- and VEGF-induced angiogenesis. However, the postreceptor signaling pathways governing these FGF2- and VEGF-induced placental angiogenic responses are poorly understood. In this study, we assessed the role of endogenous NO, mitogen-activated protein kinase 3/1 (MAPK3/1), and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1) in FGF2- and VEGF-stimulated proliferation of ovine fetoplacental endothelial (OFPAE) cells. Both FGF2 and VEGF time-dependently stimulated (P < 0.05) NO production and activated AKT1. Both FGF2- and VEGF-stimulated cell proliferation was dose-dependently inhibited (P < 0.05) by NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA; an NO synthase inhibitor), PD98059 (a selective MAPK3/1 kinase 1 and 2 [MAP2K1/2] inhibitor), or LY294002 (a selective phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase [PI3K] inhibitor) but not by phenyl-4,4,5,5 tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO, a potent extracellular NO scavenger). At the maximal inhibitory dose without cytotoxicity, PD98059 and LY294002 completely inhibited VEGF-induced cell proliferation but only partially attenuated (P < 0.05) FGF2-induced cell proliferation. PD98059 and LY294002 also inhibited (P < 0.05) FGF2- and VEGF-induced phosphorylation of MAPK3/1 and AKT1, respectively. L-NMMA did not significantly affect FGF2- and VEGF-induced phosphorylation of either MAPK3/1 or AKT1. Thus, in OFPAE cells, both FGF2- and VEGF-stimulated cell proliferation is partly mediated via NO as an intracellular and downstream signal of MAPK3/1 and AKT1 activation. Moreover, activation of both MAP2K1/2/MAPK3/1 and PI3K/AKT1 pathways is critical for FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation, whereas activation of either one pathway is sufficient for mediating the VEGF-induced maximal cell proliferation, indicating that these two kinase pathways differentially mediate the FGF2- and VEGF-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation.
AKT1; endothelial cell proliferation; FGF2; growth factors; kinases; MAPK3/1; nitric oxide; pregnancy; vascular endothelial growth factor
It is hypothesized that the protection of bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) on ischemic myocardium might be related to the anti-apoptotic effect via paracrine mechanisms. In this study, a wide array of cytokines including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were detected in the BMSCs cultured medium by ELISA. Myocyte apoptosis was assayed by DNA fragmentation and annexin-V staining. Myocardial infarction model was produced by ligation of mouse left anterior descending coronary arteries (LAD). Before LAD ligation, mice were myoablated by irradiation and transplanted with bone marrow cells from transgenic green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice. After LAD ligation, animals were administered stem cell factor (SCF, 200 μg / day / kg, i.p.) or saline for 6 days. Animals were sacrificed on end of SCF treatment and four weeks later. Apoptotic cardiomyocytes were assayed after treatment finished by TUNEL. Myocardial function was analyzed by echocardiography and pressure-volume loop. Bcl-2 protein was analyzed by western blotting. Our results showed that cultured BMSCs released VEGF, bFGF, SDF-1 and IGF-1. Hypoxia induced cell apoptosis was diminished in cardiomyocytes co-cultured with BMSCs. Smaller LV dimension and increased LV ejection fraction were seen in SCF treated animals. SCF significantly reduced cardiomyocytes apoptosis within peri-infarct area and up-regulation expression of Bcl-2 in ischemic area. Moreover, conditioned medium from cultured BMSCs also induced up-regulation of Bcl-2 protein in cardiomyocytes. It is concluded that paracrine mediators secreted by BMSCs might be involved in early repair of ischemic heart by preventing cardiomyocytes apoptosis and improving cardiac function.
Stem cells; Mobilization; Paracrine effect; Myocardial infarction; Apoptosis
Severe sepsis is a disease of the microcirculation, with endothelial dysfunction playing a key role in its pathogenesis and subsequent associated mortality. Angiogenesis in damaged small vessels may ameliorate this dysfunction. The aim of the study was to determine whether the angiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and -2 (Ang-2)) are mortality indicators in Malawian children with severe bacterial infection.
In 293 children with severe bacterial infection, plasma VEGF, PDGF, FGF, and Ang-1 and Ang-2 were measured on admission; in 50 of the children with meningitis, VEGF, PDGF, and FGF were also measured in the CSF. Healthy controls comprised children from some of the villages of the index cases. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to develop a prognostic model.
The median age was 2.4 years, and the IQR, 0.7 to 6.0 years. There were 211 children with bacterial meningitis (72%) and 82 (28%) with pneumonia, and 154 (53%) children were HIV infected. Mean VEGF, PDGF, and FGF concentrations were higher in survivors than in nonsurvivors, but only PDGF remained significantly increased in multivariate analysis (P = 0.007). Mean Ang-1 was significantly increased, and Ang-2 was significantly decreased in survivors compared with nonsurvivors (6,000 versus 3,900 pg/ml, P = 0.03; and 7,700 versus 11,900 pg/ml, P = 0.02, respectively). With a logistic regression model and controlling for confounding factors, only female sex (OR, 3.95; 95% CI, 1.33 to 11.76) and low Ang-1 (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.69) were significantly associated with mortality. In children with bacterial meningitis, mean CSF VEGF, PDGF, and FGF concentrations were higher than paired plasma concentrations, and mean CSF, VEGF, and FGF concentrations were higher in nonsurvivors than in survivors (P = 0.02 and 0.001, respectively).
Lower plasma VEGF, PDGF, FGF, and Ang-1 concentrations and higher Ang-2 concentrations are associated with an unfavorable outcome in children with severe bacterial infection. These angiogenic factors may be important in the endothelial dysregulation seen in severe bacterial infection, and they could be used as biomarkers for the early identification of patients at risk of a poor outcome.
This communication briefly reviews the role of angiogenic growth factors in myocardial vessel formation during development. The earliest signs of vascularization are the migration and differentiation of angioblasts from the epicardium and subepicardium into the myocardium. A regulator of this process is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is probably triggered by hypoxia. The subsequent formation of vascular tubes is regulated by multiple growth factors: VEGF family members, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), and angiopoietins and their receptors. Our studies on explanted quail hearts reveal that these growth factors are interdependent. We also have shown that a harmonic interplay of growth factors characterizes early postnatal development in rats. Neutralizing antibodies to either basic FGF (bFGF) or VEGF inhibit capillary formation, whereas arteriolar growth is markedly inhibited by bFGF, but not VEGF, neutralizing antibodies. Arteriolar diameter is also increased when anti-bFGF and anti-VEGF are administered in combination. Thus, the hierarchical development of the arteriolar vasculature depends on both of these growth factors; however, the establishment of arterioles, as reflected by length density, is dependent on bFGF but not on VEGF.
Finally, stretch of cardiac myocytes and endothelial cells serves as a stimulus for increases in growth factor and receptor proteins. We have shown that cyclic stretch of either cell type increases VEGF, and that endothelial cells respond to stretch by up-regulation of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), and Tie-2 receptor. These results indicate that both mechanical and metabolic factors are primary stimuli for coronary angiogenesis. (Tex Heart Inst J 2002;29:250–4)
Coronary angiogenesis; coronary vessels/embryology; endothelial growth factors/antagonists & inhibitors; fibroblast growth factors/antagonists & inhibitors; endothelium, vascular; growth factor signaling; heart/growth & development
This study was performed to determine whether injury induced by cerebral ischemia could be further improved by transplantation with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) modified by Survivin (SVV).
MSCs derived from bone marrow of male Sprague-Dawley rats were infected by the self-inactive lentiviral vector GCFU carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and SVV recombinant vector (GCFU-SVV). In vitro, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were detected in infected MSCs supernatants under hypoxic conditions by ELSIA. In vivo, experiments consisted of three groups, one receiving intravenous injection of 500 μl of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) without cells (control group) and two groups administered the same volume solution with either three million GFP-MSCs (group GFP) or SVV/GFP-MSCs (group SVV). All animals were submitted to 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and then reperfusion. Differentiation and survival of the transplanted MSCs were determined by confocal microscope. Western blot was used to detect the expression of VEGF and bFGF in ischemic tissue. A 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining was used to assess the infarct volume. Evaluation of neurological function was performed using a modified Neurological Severity Score (mNSS).
In vitro, modification with SVV further increased secretion of VEGF and bFGF under hypoxic condition. In vivo, only very few transplantated cells co-expressed GFP and NeuN. The survival transplanted cells in the group SVV was 1.3-fold at 4 days after transplantation and 3.4-fold higher at 14 days after transplantation, respectively, when compared with group GFP. Expression of VEGF and bFGF in the ischemic tissue were further up-regulated by modification with SVV. Moreover, modification with SVV further reduced the cerebral infarct volume by 5.2% at 4 days after stroke and improved post-stroke neurological function at 14 days after transplantation.
Modification with SVV could further enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs possibly through improving the MSCs survival capacity and up-regulating the expression of protective cytokines in the ischemic tissue.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key mediator of angiogenesis since it stimulates the formation of new blood vessels. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is related to the promotion of endothelial cells into tube-like structures, and it is therefore expected to promote angiogenesis with a greater potency than VEGF. VEGF and bFGF are considered to be biomarkers that predict treatment effectiveness. Elevated plasma VEGF and bFGF levels have been reported in a variety of different malignant tumors, and patients with metastatic disease have also been reported to present with higher serum VEGF and bFGF levels. Other studies have documented controversial results with respect to the prognostic and predictive value of the aforementioned biomarkers. This study aimed to determine the plasma VEGF and bFGF levels in breast cancer patients without metastatic disease compared with breast cancer patients with advanced metastatic disease. The study included 93 patients with breast cancer, 46 without recurrent disease (group A) and 47 with metastatic disease (group B), as well as 21 healthy individuals. The median age was 58 years (range 34–78) for group A and 59 years (range 37–75) for group B. All 93 patients underwent chemotherapy, adjuvant for group A, and adjuvant plus chemotherapy for group B patients with advanced disease. Plasma VEGF and bFGF levels were determined using a quantitative sandwich immunoassay, and samples were tested in triplicate (ELISA). The plasma levels of VEGF and bFGF varied greatly, i.e., from extremely low to extremely high in the two groups, as well as in the healthy individuals. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups or between the patients and healthy individuals. Data of the present study therefore showed that VEGF and bFGF levels are not valuable biomarkers for predicting treatment outcome.
vascular endothelial growth factor; breast cancer
Recent advances in nanotechnology and molecular self-assembly may provide novel solutions to current cell transplantation deficiencies. Heparin-binding peptide amphiphiles (HBPAs) self-assemble from aqueous media into nanofibers that bind growth factors through interactions with the bioactive polymer heparin. In this report, we demonstrate that delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) from HBPA scaffolds significantly increases blood vessel density in the mouse omentum over control scaffolds without growth factors (P<0.0005) and significantly enhances islet engraftment. Diabetic recipients transplanted with 250 isologous islets and HBPA scaffolds containing VEGF/FGF-2 achieved normoglycemia at a higher rate (78%) than control animals receiving identical scaffolds without growth factors (30%; P<0.05) or growth factors alone (20%). These data indicate that the enhanced engraftment can be attributed to specific growth factor effects that were made possible by the delivery mechanism of HBPA nanostructures.
islet transplantation; omentum; peptide amphiphile nanofibers; fibroblast growth factor-2; vascular endothelial growth factor
Angiogenesis of tumours might develop as a result of environmental conditions, such as hypoxia, and/or as a result of genetic alterations specific for tumour cells. The relative contributions of these mechanisms were investigated by comparing the in vivo expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) to the hypoxic fraction, the angiogenic potential and the vascular density of four human melanoma lines (A-07, D-12, R-18, U-25) grown intradermally in Balb/c nu/nu mice. VEGF expression, bFGF expression and expression of pimonidazole, a marker of hypoxic cells, were investigated by immunohistochemistry. An association between high VEGF and bFGF expression and high angiogenic potential was detected, suggesting an important role for VEGF/bFGF in the angiogenesis of melanomas. High VEGF/bFGF expression was also related to low hypoxic fraction and high vascular density. Thus, the constitutive, genetically determined level of VEGF was probably more important than hypoxia-induced upregulation in the angiogenesis of the melanoma xenografts. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
angiogenesis; hypoxia; immunohistochemistry; VEGF
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) elicit cellular responses via activation of protein kinases and phosphatases. We have reported that the MEK1/2/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT1 pathways are critical for VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated ovine fetoplacental endothelial (OFPAE) cell proliferation. We have also shown that protein phosphatase 3 (PPP3) differentially modulates VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation and activation of ERK1/2 and AKT1 in OFPAE cells. Herein, we investigated if protein phosphatase 2 (PPP2) modulated VEGF- and FGF2-induced ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK activation and VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation in OFPAE cells. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) specifically targeting human PPP2 catalytic subunit α (PPP2CA) was used to suppress PPP2CA expression in OFPAE cells. When compared with scrambled siRNA, PPP2CA siRNA decreased (p < 0.05) PPP2CA protein levels (∼ 70%) and activity (∼ 50%) without altering protein levels of PPP3 catalytic subunit α (PPP3CA), nitric oxide (NO) synthase 3 (NOS3), ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK. FGF2, but not VEGF rapidly (≤ 5 min) induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Suppression of PPP2CA enhanced (p < 0.05) VEGF-induced AKT1, but not ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas inhibited (p < 0.05) FGF2-induced ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK and slightly attenuated FGF2-induced AKT1 phosphorylation. Suppression of PPP2CA did not significantly affect VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation. Thus, suppression of PPP2CA alone differentially modulated VEGF- and FGF2-induced ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK activation, without altering VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated cell proliferation in OFPAE cells. These data also suggest that signaling molecules other than ERK1/2, AKT1, and p38 MAPK are important mediators for VEGF- and FGF2-stimulated OFPAE cell proliferation after PPP2CA suppression.
Endothelial cell; signaling transduction; placenta
Growth factor signaling plays an essential role in regulating processes such as tissue development, maintenance, and repair. Gene expression levels, diffusion, degradation, and sequestration by extracellular matrix components all play a role in regulating the concentration of growth factors within the cellular microenvironment. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of hydrogel microspheres that mimic the ability of the native extracellular matrix to reversibly bind vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) out of solution. A peptide ligand derived from the VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) was covalently incorporated into the hydrogel microspheres in order to achieve binding affinity and specificity. In addition to being able to both bind and release VEGF in a controllable manner, the microspheres were also shown to affect human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation. The resulting microspheres may enable new strategies to specifically upregulate or downregulate growth factor signaling in the cellular microenvironment.
Biomimetic; Bioinspired; Microparticle; ECM; Extracellular Matrix; Growth Factors
Purpose of review
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are potent angiogenic inducers; however, their precise roles in angiogenesis have not been well understood. In this review, we will focus on specific roles played by FGFs in neovascularization.
Whereas FGFs promote a strong angiogenic response, it has been suggested that FGF-induced angiogenesis requires activation of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) system. Recent findings have endorsed this view: indirect contribution of FGF signaling to vascular development. A study using embryoid bodies demonstrated a non-immediate role played by FGFR1 in vasculogenesis since VEGF supplementation was sufficient to promote vascular development in Fgfr1-/- embryoid bodies. Moreover, another line of evidence indicated that myocardial FGF signaling is essential for mouse coronary development. The key role of FGF signaling is Hedgehog activation, which induces VEGF expression and formation of the coronary vasculature.
In addition to VEGF interaction, FGFs can control neovascularization by influencing other growth factors and chemokines such as PDGF, HGF and MCP-1, contributing to development of mature vessels and collateral arteries.
Although FGFs are potent angiogenic factors, they may indirectly control neovascularization in concert with other growth factors. Thus, the unique role played by FGFs might be organization of various angiogenic pathways and coordination of cell-cell interactions in this process.
fibroblast growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factor; platelet-derived growth factor; angiogenesis; arteriogenesis
Pro-angiogenic factors [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)] and anti-angiogenic factors (endostatin) play important roles in the progression of pancreatic cancer. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the knockdown effect by either VEGF or bFGF siRNA on the expression and secretion of endostatin in pancreatic carcinoma cells. Pancreatic carcinoma cell lines (sw1990, Panc-1 and PCT-3) were treated with VEGF and bFGF siRNA. The expression of VEGF, bFGF and endostatin in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot analysis. Secretion of endostatin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). bFGF and VEGF siRNA significantly reduced the expression of bFGF and VEGF mRNA, respectively, but did not affect mRNA and protein expression of endostatin in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. However, secretion of endostatin in PCT-3, Panc-1 and sw1990 cells was significantly inhibited by bFGF and VEGF siRNA. This study demonstrated that pro-angiogenic factors (VEGF and bFGF) differentially modulate expression and secretion of anti-angiogenic factors (endostatin). This result may have important implications in the anti-angiogenesis therapy in pancreatic cancer.
pancreatic carcinoma; bFGF; VEGF; siRNA; endostatin
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a signal protein produced by cells that stimulates vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. VEGF is believed to implicate poor prognosis in various cancers. The overexpression of VEGF may be an early step in the process of metastasis.
ELISA was used to investigate the levels of VEGF, bFGF and IL8 in human bone metastatic LNCaP-derivative C4-2B prostate cancer cell line and its parental cell line, LNCaP and to determine the effect of bevacizumab on reducing the level of VEGF. Cell proliferation assay, invasion assay and in vitro angiogenesis assay were performed under the condition with bevacizumab or control IgG.
Human bone metastatic LNCaP-derivative C4-2B prostate cancer cell line expressed a higher level of VEGF than its parental primary prostate cancer cell line LNCaP. The effect of bevacizumab is dose-dependent and time-dependent: 100 μg/mL of bevacizumab and 3-day treatment was more effective than low-dose and lesser-day treatment for decreasing the level of VEGF. Bevacizumab is able to suppress cell proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion in human bone metastatic C4-2B prostatic cancer cell line.
The overexpression of VEGF can be inhibited by bevacizumab in human bone metastatic cancer cell line. The behaviors of metastasis involving proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion are suppressed by anti-VEGF therapy.
Metastasis; Bone; Prostate cancer; VEGF
Gene therapy stimulating the growth of blood vessels is considered for the treatment of peripheral and myocardial ischemia. Here we aimed to achieve angiogenic synergism between vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A, VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4) in murine normoperfused and ischemic limb muscles.
Adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) carrying β-galactosidase gene (AAV-LacZ), VEGF-A (AAV-VEGF-A) or two angiogenic genes (AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A) were injected into the normo-perfused adductor muscles of C57Bl/6 mice. Moreover, in a different experiment, mice were subjected to unilateral hindlimb ischemia by femoral artery ligation followed by intramuscular injections of AAV-LacZ, AAV-VEGF-A or AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A below the site of ligation. Post-ischemic blood flow recovery was assessed sequentially by color laser Doppler. Mice were monitored for 28 days.
VEGF-A delivered alone (AAV-VEGF-A) or in combination with FGF4 (AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A) increased the number of capillaries in normo-perfused hindlimbs when compared to AAV-LacZ. Simultaneous overexpression of both agents (VEGF-A and FGF4) stimulated the capillary wall remodeling in the non-ischemic model. Moreover, AAV-FGF4-IRES-VEGF-A faster restored the post-ischemic foot blood flow and decreased the incidence of toe necrosis in comparison to AAV-LacZ.
Synergy between VEGF-A and FGF4 to produce stable and functional blood vessels may be considered a promising option in cardiovascular gene therapy.
AAV; Angiogenesis; Arteriogenesis; FGF4; VEGF-A
To determine the molecular basis of corneal avascularity during wound healing and determine the role of angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors in corneal vasculogenesis.
The expression of proangiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF]; basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF]; matrix metalloproteinase-2 [MMP-2]; and membrane-type 1-MMP [MT1-MMP]) and antiangiogenic factors (pigment epithelium–derived factor [PEDF]; angiostatin; restin; and endostatin) was analyzed in avascular corneas and in models of corneal neovascularization (bFGF pellet implantation, intrastromal injection of MT1-MMP cDNA, and surgically induced partial limbal deficiency).
Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of antiangiogenic factors (PEDF, angiostatin, restin, and endostatin) and proangiogenic molecules (VEGF, bFGF, MMP-2, and MT1-MMP) in the cornea after wounding. Proangiogenic MMPs were upregulated in stromal fibroblasts in the vicinity of invading vessels following bFGF pellet implantation. Corneal neovascularization (NV) was also induced by intrastromal injection of MT1-MMP naked cDNA in conjunction with de-epithelialization. Partial limbal deficiency (HLD-) resulted in corneal NV in MMP-7 and MMP-3 knockout mice but not in wild type controls.
Corneal angiogenic privilege is an active process involving the production of antiangiogenic factors to counterbalance the proangiogenic factors (which are upregulated after wound healing even in the absence of new vessels). Our finding that the potent antiangiogenic factors, angiostatin and endostatin, are colocalized with several MMPs during wound healing suggests that MMPs may be involved in the elaboration of these antiangiogenic molecules by proteolytic processing of substrates within the cornea.