Neural stem cells (NSCs) differentiate into endothelial cells (ECs) and neuronal cells. Estradiol (E2) is known to exhibit proangiogenic effects on ischemic tissues via EC activation. Therefore, we hypothesized that E2 can promote the therapeutic potential of NSC transplantation for injured nerve repair via the differentiation of NSCs into ECs during neovascularization. NSCs isolated from newborn mouse brains were transplanted into injured sciatic nerves with (NSC/E2 group) or without E2-conjugated gelatin hydrogel (E2 group). The NSC/E2 group exhibited the greatest recovery in motor nerve conduction velocity, voltage amplitude, and exercise tolerance. Histological analyses revealed increased intraneural vascularity and blood perfusion as well as striking NSC recruitment to the neovasculature in the injured nerves in the NSC/E2 group. In vitro, E2 enhanced the NSC migration and proliferation inhibiting apoptosis. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis also revealed that E2 significantly increased the percentage of CD31 in NSCs, and the effect of E2 was completely neutralized by the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI. The combination of E2 administration and NSC transplantation cooperatively improved the functional recovery of injured peripheral nerves, at least in part, via E2-associated NSC differentiation into ECs. These findings provide a novel mechanistic insight into both NSC biology and the biological effects of endogenous E2.
Estrogen; Neural stem cell; Cell transplantation; Angiogenesis; Endothelial differentiation; Nervous system
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can generate multiple end-stage mesenchymal cell types and constitute a promising population of cells for regenerative therapies. Additionally, there is increasing evidence supporting other trophic activities of MSCs, including the ability to enable formation of vasculature in vivo. Although MSCs were originally isolated from the bone marrow, the presence of these cells in the stromal vascular fraction of multiple adult tissues has been recently recognized. However, it is unknown whether the capacity to modulate vasculogenesis is ubiquitous to all MSCs regardless of their tissue of origin. Here, we demonstrated that tissue-resident MSCs isolated from four distinct tissues have equal capacity to modulate endothelial cell function, including formation of vascular networks in vivo. MSCs were isolated from four murine tissues, including bone marrow, white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and myocardium. In culture, all four MSC populations secreted a plethora of pro-angiogenic factors that unequivocally induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs). In vivo, co-implantation of MSCs with ECFCs into mice generated an extensive network of blood vessels with ECFCs specifically lining the lumens and MSCs occupying perivascular positions. Importantly, there were no differences among all four MSCs evaluated. Our studies suggest that the capacity to modulate the formation of vasculature is a ubiquitous property of all MSCs, irrespective of their original anatomical location. These results validate multiple tissues as potential sources of MSCs for future cell-based vascular therapies.
Mesenchymal stem cells; Endothelial cell; Vasculogenesis; Pericytes; Endothelial progenitor cells
ALK1 (ACVRL1) is a member of the TGFβ receptor family and is expressed predominantly by arterial endothelial cells (EC). Mutations in ACVRL1 are responsible for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Type 2 (HHT2), a disease manifesting as fragile vessels, capillary overgrowth, and numerous arterio-venous malformations (AVMs). Arterial EC also express EphrinB2, which has multiple roles in vascular development and angiogenesis and is known to be reduced in ACVRL1 knockout mice. Using an in vitro angiogenesis model we find that the Alk1 ligand BMP9 induces EphrinB2 in EC, and this is entirely dependent on expression of Alk1 and at least one of the co-receptors BMPRII or ActRII. BMP9 induces both ID1 and ID3, and both are necessary for full induction of EphrinB2. Loss of Alk1 or EphrinB2 results in increased arterial-venous anastomosis, while loss of Alk1 but not EphrinB2 results in increased VEGFR2 expression and enhanced capillary sprouting. Conversely, BMP9 blocks EC sprouting and this is dependent on Alk1, BMPRII/ActRII and ID1/ID3. Finally, notch signaling overcomes the loss of Alk1 – restoring EphrinB2 expression in EC, and curbing excess sprouting. Thus, in an in vitro model of HHT2, loss of Alk1 blocks BMP9 signaling, resulting in reduced EphrinB2 expression, enhanced VEGFR2 expression, and misregulated EC sprouting and anastomosis.
Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) is a master heterodimeric transcriptional regulator of oxygen (O2) homeostasis critical to proper angiogenic responses. Due to the distinctive coexpression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α subunits in endothelial cells, our goal was to examine the genetic elimination of HIF transcriptional activity in response to physiological hypoxic conditions by using a genetic model in which the required HIF-β subunit (ARNT, Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator) to HIF transcriptional responses was depleted. Endothelial cells (ECs) and aortic explants were isolated from ArntloxP/loxP mice and infected with Adenovirus -Cre/GFP or control -GFP. We observed that moderate levels of 2.5% O2 promoted vessel sprouting, growth, and branching in control aortic ring assays while growth from Adenovirus -Cre infected explants was compromised. Primary Adenovirus -Cre infected EC cultures featured adverse migration and tube formation phenotypes. Primary pulmonary or cardiac ARNT-deleted ECs also failed to proliferate and survive in response to 8 or 2.5% O2 and hydrogen peroxide treatment. Our data demonstrates that ARNT promotes EC migration and vessel outgrowth and indispensible for the proliferation and preservation of ECs in response to the physiological environmental cue of hypoxia. Thus, these results demonstrate that ARNT plays a critical intrinsic role in ECs and support a critical role for the collaboration of HIF-1 and HIF-2 transcriptional activity in these cells.
Angiogenesis; ARNT; HIF; physiological hypoxia; endothelium
Co-cultures of endothelial cells (EC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in three-dimensional (3D) protein hydrogels can be used to recapitulate aspects of vasculogenesis in vitro. MSC provide paracrine signals that stimulate EC to form vessel-like structures, which mature as the MSC transition to the role of mural cells. In this study, vessel-like network formation was studied using 3D collagen/fibrin (COL/FIB) matrices seeded with embedded EC and MSC and cultured for 7 days. The EC:MSC ratio was varied from 5:1, 3:2, 1:1, 2:3 and 1:5. The matrix composition was varied at COL/FIB compositions of 100/0 (pure COL), 60/40, 50/50, 40/60 and 0/100 (pure FIB). Vasculogenesis was markedly decreased in the highest EC:MSC ratio, relative to the other cell ratios. Network formation increased with increasing fibrin content in composite materials, although the 40/60 COL/FIB and pure fibrin materials exhibited the same degree of vasculogenesis. EC and MSC were co-localized in vessel-like structures after 7 days and total cell number increased by approximately 70%. Mechanical property measurements showed an inverse correlation between matrix stiffness and network formation. The effect of matrix stiffness was further investigated using gels made with varying total protein content and by crosslinking the matrix using the dialdehyde glyoxal. This systematic series of studies demonstrates that matrix composition regulates vasculogenesis in 3D protein hydrogels, and further suggests that this effect may be caused by matrix mechanical properties. These findings have relevance to the study of neovessel formation and the development of strategies to promote vascularization in transplanted tissues.
collagen; fibrin; vasculogenesis; stiffness; mesenchymal stem cells; endothelial cells
αB-crystallin is a small heat shock protein, which has pro-angiogenic properties by increasing survival of endothelial cells and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor A. Here we demonstrate an additional role of αB-crystallin in regulating vascular function, through enhancing tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) induced expression of endothelial adhesion molecules involved in leukocyte recruitment. Ectopic expression of αB-crystallin in endothelial cells increases the level of E-selectin expression in response to TNF-α, and enhances leukocyte–endothelial interaction in vitro. Conversely, TNF-α-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and E-selectin is markedly inhibited in endothelial cells isolated from αB-crystallin-deficient mice. This is associated with elevated levels of IκB in αB-crystallin deficient cells and incomplete degradation upon TNF-α stimulation. Consistent with this, endothelial adhesion molecule expression is reduced in inflamed vessels of αB-crystallin deficient mice, and leukocyte rolling velocity is increased. Our data identify αB-crystallin as a new regulator of leukocyte recruitment, by enhancing pro-inflammatory nuclear factor κ B-signaling and endothelial adhesion molecule expression during endothelial activation.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-013-9367-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
αB-crystallin; Chaperone; ICAM-1; VCAM-1; E-selectin; NF-κB
The semaphorins and plexins comprise a family of cysteine-rich proteins implicated in control of nerve growth and development and regulation of the immune response. Our group and others have found that Semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D) and its receptor, Plexin-B1, play an important role in tumor-induced angiogenesis, with some neoplasms producing SEMA4D in a manner analogous to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in order to attract Plexin-B1-expressing endothelial cells into the tumor for the purpose of promoting growth and vascularity. While anti-VEGF strategies have been the focus of most angiogenesis inhibition research, such treatment can lead to upregulation of pro-angiogenic factors that can compensate for the loss of VEGF, eventually leading to failure of therapy. Here, we demonstrate that SEMA4D cooperates with VEGF to promote angiogenesis in malignancies and can perform the same function in a setting of VEGF blockade. We also show the potential value of inhibiting SEMA4D/Plexin-B1 signaling as a complementary mechanism to anti-VEGF treatment, particularly in VEGF inhibitor–resistant tumors, suggesting that this may represent a novel treatment for some cancers.
Semaphorin 4D; Plexin-B1; VEGF; Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; Tumor-induced angiogenesis
Dysregulation of angiogenesis is a common feature of many disease processes. Vascular remodeling is believed to depend on the participation of endothelial progenitor cells, but the identification of endothelial progenitors in postnatal neovascularization remains elusive. Current understanding posits a role for circulating pro-angiogenic hematopoietic cells, which interact with local endothelial cells to establish an environment that favors angiogenesis in physiologic and pathophysiologic responses. In the lung, increased and dysregulated angiogenesis is a hallmark of diseases of the bronchial and pulmonary circulations, manifested by asthma and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), respectively. In asthma THelper-2 immune cells produce angiogenic factors that mobilize and recruit pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic precursors from the bone marrow into the airway wall where they induce angiogenesis and fuel inflammation. In contrast, in PAH, upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in vascular cells leads to the production of bone marrow-mobilizing factors that recruit pro-angiogenic progenitor cells to the pulmonary circulation where they contribute to angiogenic remodeling of the vessel wall. This review focuses on current knowledge of pro-angiogenic progenitor cells in the pathogenesis of asthma and PAH.
angiogenesis; progenitors; endothelium; lung; asthma; pulmonary arterial hypertension
The overall goal of this study was to non-invasively monitor changes in blood flow of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) xenografts using contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound (US) imaging.
Experimental studies were performed on mice bearing FaDu tumors and SCCHN xenografts derived from human surgical tissue. MR examinations were performed using gadofosveset trisodium at 4.7T. Change in T1-relaxation rate of tumors (ΔR1) and tumor enhancement parameters (amplitude, area under the curve - AUC) were measured at baseline and 24 hours after treatment with a tumor-vascular disrupting agent (tumor-VDA), 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA; ASA404) and correlated with tumor necrosis and treatment outcome. CE-US was performed using microbubbles (Vevo MicroMarker®) to assess the change in relative tumor blood volume following VDA treatment.
A marked decrease (up to 68% of baseline) in T1-enhancement of FaDu tumors was observed one day after VDA therapy indicative of a reduction in blood flow. Early (24h) vascular response of individual tumors to VDA therapy detected by MRI correlated with tumor necrosis and volume estimates at 10 days post treatment. VDA treatment also resulted in a significant reduction in AUC and amplitude of patient tumor-derived SCCHN xenografts. Consistent with MRI observations, CE-US revealed a significant reduction in tumor blood volume of patient tumor-derived SCCHN xenografts after VDA therapy. Treatment with VDA resulted in a significant tumor growth inhibition of patient tumor derived SCCHN xenografts.
These findings demonstrate that both CE-MRI and CE-US allow monitoring of early changes in vascular function following VDA therapy. The results also demonstrate, for the first time, potent vascular disruptive and antitumor activity of DMXAA against patient tumor-derived head and neck carcinoma xenografts.
Angiogenesis; SCCHN; VDAs; MRI; US
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that is secreted by tumor cells plays a key role in angiogenesis. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) is produced by inflammatory cells, such as stromal granulocytes (PMN), remodels the extracellular matrix and is known to promote angiogenesis indirectly by interacting with VEGF. The aim of this study was to determine the role of PMN-derived MMP-9, its interaction with VEGF, and the efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapy targeting MMP-9 with oral Doxycycline and VEGF with Bevacizumab in pancreatic cancer (PDAC).
Inhibitors to MMP-9 (Doxycycline) and VEGF (Bevacizumab) were used alone or in combination in an in vitro angiogenesis assay to test their effect on angiogenesis caused by MMP-9, VEGF, PMN and PDAC cells. In an in vivo model of xenografted PDAC, treatment effects after 14 days under monotherapy with oral Doxycycline or Bevacizumab and a combination of both were evaluated.
In vitro, PMN-derived MMP-9 had a direct and strong proangiogenic effect that was independent and additive to PDAC-derived VEGF. Complete inhibition of angiogenesis required the inhibition of VEGF and MMP-9. In vivo, co-localization of MMP-9, PMN and vasculature was observed. MMP inhibition with oral Doxycycline alone resulted in a significant decrease in PDAC growth and mean vascular density comparable to VEGF inhibition alone.
PMN derived MMP-9 acts as a potent, direct and VEGF independent angiogenic factor in the context of PDAC. MMP-9 inhibition is as effective as VEGF inhibition. Targeting MMP-9 in addition to VEGF is therefore likely to be important for successful anti-angiogenic treatment in pancreatic cancer.
VEGF; MMP-9; Neutrophil granulocyte; Pancreatic cancer
Bone morphorgenetic protein (BMP)-4 has been shown to play a pivotal role in eye development; however, its role in mature retina or ocular angiogenic diseases is unclear. Activating downstream Smad signaling, BMP4 can be either pro-angiogenic or anti-angiogenic, depending on the context of cell types and associated microenvironment. In this study, we generated transgenic mice over-expressing BMP4 in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells (Bmp4-Vmd2 Tg mice), and used the laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) model to study the angiogenic properties of BMP4 in adult eyes. Bmp4-Vmd2 Tg mice displayed normal retinal histology at 10 weeks of age when compared with age-matched wildtype mice. Over-expression of BMP4 in RPE in the transgenic mice was confirmed by real-time PCR and immunostaining. Elevated levels of Smad1,5 phosphorylation were found in BMP4 transgenic mice compared to wildype mice. Over-expression of BMP4 was associated with less severe CNV as characterized by fluorescein angiography, CNV volume measurement and histology. While control mice showed increased levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 after laser injury, Bmp4-Vmd2 Tg showed no increase in either VEGF or MMP-9. Further, we found that TNF-induced MMP-9 secretion in vitro was reduced by pretreatment of RPE cells with BMP4. The inhibition of MMP-9 was Smad-dependent because BMP4 failed to repress TNF-induced MMP-9 expression when Smad1,5 was silenced by siRNA. In summary, our studies identified an anti-angiogenic role for BMP4 in laser-induced CNV, mediated by direct inhibition of MMP-9 and indirect inhibition of VEGF.
BMP4; MMP-9; VEGF; Choroidal neovascularization (CNV); Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)
The recruitment of mural cells such as pericytes to patent vessels with an endothelial lumen is a key factor for the maturation of blood vessels and the prevention of hemorrhage in pathological angiogenesis. To date, our understanding of the specific trigger underlying the transition from cell growth to the maturation phase remains incomplete. Since rapid endothelial cell growth causes pericyte loss, we hypothesized that suppression of endothelial growth factors would both promote pericyte recruitment, in addition to inhibiting pathological angiogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that targeted knockdown of apelin in endothelial cells using siRNA induced the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) through activation of Smad3, via suppression of the PI3K/Akt pathway. The conditioned medium of endothelial cells treated with apelin siRNA enhanced the migration of vascular smooth muscle cells, through MCP-1 and its receptor pathway. Moreover, in vivo delivery of siRNA targeting apelin, which causes exuberant endothelial cell proliferation and pathological angiogenesis through its receptor APJ, led to increased pericyte coverage and suppressed pathological angiogenesis in an oxygen-induced retinopathy model. These data demonstrate that apelin is not only a potent endothelial growth factor, but also restricts pericyte recruitment, establishing a new connection between endothelial cell proliferation signaling and a trigger of mural recruitment.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-013-9349-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Apelin; Angiogenesis; MCP-1; Pericytes; Vascular endothelial cells; Smad
Tumor-associated stroma is typified by a persistent, non-resolving inflammatory response that enhances tumor angiogenesis, growth and metastasis. Inflammation in tumors is instigated by heterotypic interactions between malignant tumor cells, vascular endothelium, fibroblasts, immune and inflammatory cells. We found that tumor-associated adipocytes also contribute to inflammation. We have analyzed peritumoral adipose tissue in a syngeneic mouse melanoma model. Compared to control adipose tissue, adipose tissue juxtaposed to implanted tumors exhibited reduced adipocyte size, extensive fibrosis, increased angiogenesis and a dense macrophage infiltrate. A mouse cytokine protein array revealed up-regulation of inflammatory mediators including IL-6, CXCL1, MCP-1, MIP-2 and TIMP-1 in peritumoral versus counterpart adipose tissues. CD11b+ macrophages contributed strongly to the inflammatory activity. These macrophages were isolated from peritumoral adipose tissue and found to overexpress ARG1, NOS2, CD301, CD163, MCP-1 and VEGF, which are indicative of both M1 and M2 polarization. Tumors implanted at a site distant from subcutaneous, anterior adipose tissue were strongly growth-delayed, had fewer blood vessels and were less populated by CD11b+ macrophages. In contrast to normal adipose tissue, micro-dissected peritumoral adipose tissue explants launched numerous vascular sprouts when cultured in an ex vivo model. Thus, inflamed tumor-associated adipose tissue fuels the growth of malignant cells by acting as a proximate source for vascular endothelium and activated pro-inflammatory cells, in particular macrophages.
Angiogenesis; Adipose tissue; Tumor-associated macrophage; Fibrosis; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor stroma; Inflammation
Exosomes, microvesicles of endocytic origin released by normal and tumor cells, play an important role in cell-to-cell communication. Angiogenesis has been shown to regulate progression of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The mechanism through which this happens has not been elucidated. We isolated and characterized exosomes from K562 CML cells and evaluated their effects on human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs). Fluorescent-labeled exosomes were internalized by HUVECs during tubular differentiation on Matrigel. Exosome localization was perinuclear early in differentiation, moving peripherally in cells undergoing elongation and connection. Exosomes move within and between nanotubular structures connecting the remodeling endothelial cells. They stimulated angiotube formation over a serum/growth factor-limited medium control, doubling total cumulative tube length (P = 0.003). Treatment of K562 cells with two clinically active tyrosine kinase inhibitors, imatinib and dasatinib, reduced their total exosome release (P <0.009); equivalent concentrations of drug-treated exosomes induced a similar extent of tubular differentiation. However, dasatinib treatment of HUVECs markedly inhibited HUVEC response to drug control CML exosomes (P <0.002). In an in vivo mouse Matrigel plug model angiogenesis was induced by K562 exosomes and abrogated by oral dasatinib treatment (P <0.01). K562 exosomes induced dasatinib-sensitive Src phosphorylation and activation of downstream Src pathway proteins in HUVECs. Imatinib was minimally active against exosome stimulation of HUVEC cell differentiation and signaling. Thus, CML cell-derived exosomes induce angiogenic activity in HUVEC cells. The inhibitory effect of dasatinib on exosome production and vascular differentiation and signaling reveals a key role for Src in both the leukemia and its microenvironment.
Exosomes; Nanotubes; Chronic myeloid leukemia; Endothelial cells; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) plays an important role in regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis as well as inflammation through its actions in adipocytes and macrophages. FABP4 is also expressed in a subset of endothelial cells, but its role in this cell type is not known. We found that FABP4-deficient human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) demonstrate a markedly increased susceptibility to apoptosis as well as decreased migration and capillary network formation. Aortic rings from FABP4−/− mice demonstrated decreased angiogenic sprouting, which was recovered by reconstitution of FABP4. FABP4 was strongly regulated by mTORC1 and inhibited by Rapamycin. FABP4 modulated activation of several important signaling pathways in HUVECs, including downregulation of P38, eNOS, and stem cell factor (SCF)/c-kit signaling. Of these, the SCF/c-kit pathway was found to have a major role in attenuated angiogenic activity of FABP4-deficient ECs as provision of exogenous SCF resulted in a significant recovery in cell proliferation, survival, morphogenesis, and aortic ring sprouting. These data unravel a novel pro-angiogenic role for endothelial cell-FABP4 and suggest that it could be exploited as a potential target for diseases associated with pathological angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis; Endothelial cells; FABP4; Rapamycin; c-Kit; Stem cell factor
Growth of the remaining lung after pneumonectomy has been observed in many mammalian species; nonetheless, the pattern and morphology of alveolar angiogenesis during compensatory growth is unknown. Here, we investigated alveolar angiogenesis in a murine model of post-pneumonectomy lung growth. As expected, the volume and weight of the remaining lung returned to near-baseline levels within 21 days of pneumonectomy. The percentage increase in lobar weight was greatest in the cardiac lobe (p<.001). Cell cycle flow cytometry demonstrated a peak of lung cell proliferation (12.02±1.48%) 6 days after pneumonectomy. Spatial autocorrelation analysis of the cardiac lobe demonstrated clustering of similar vascular densities (positive autocorrelation) that consistently mapped to subpleural regions of the cardiac lobe. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated increased cell density and enhanced expression of angiogenesis-related factors VEGFA, and GLUT1 in these subpleural regions. Corrosion casting and scanning electron microscopy 3-6 days after pneumonectomy demonstrated subpleural vessels with angiogenic sprouts. The monopodial sprouts appeared to be randomly oriented along the vessel axis with interbranch distances of 11.4±4.8 um in the regions of active angiogenesis. Also present within the regions of increased vascular density were frequent “holes” or “pillars” consistent with active intussusceptive angiogenesis. The mean pillar diameter was 4.2±3.8 um and the pillars were observed in all regions of active angiogenesis. These findings indicate that the process of alveolar construction involves discrete regions of regenerative growth, particularly in the subpleural regions of the cardiac lobe, characterized by both sprouting and intussusceptive angiogenesis.
scanning electron microscopy; corrosion casting; neoalveolarization; intussusceptive angiogenesis; microCT
Angiogenesis is important for tumor growth and metastasis. CLT1 (CGLIIQKNEC), a peptide that binds to tumor interstitial spaces in the presence of fibrin-fibronectin, has structural similarity to the anti-angiogenic β-sheet peptides anastellin and anginex. This similarity is reflected in the ability of CLT1 to form co-aggregates with fibronectin that induce an unfolded protein response and cause autophagic cell death in proliferating endothelial cells. CLT1 cytotoxicity is mediated at least in parts by a novel CLT1 binding protein, Chloride Intracellular Channel 1 (CLIC1), which promotes internalization of CLT1-fibronectin co-aggregates in a mechanism that depends on the LIIQK amino acid sequence of CLT1. LIIQK encompasses amino acid residues relevant for CLT1 binding to CLIC1 and in addition, facilitates the formation of CLT1-fibronectin co-aggregates, which in turn promote translocation of CLIC1 to the endothelial cell surface through ligation of integrin αvβ3. Paralleling the in vitro results, we found that CLT1 co-localizes with CLIC1 and fibronectin in angiogenic blood vessels in vivo, and that CLT1 treatment inhibited angiogenesis and tumor growth. Our findings show that CLT1 is a new anti-angiogenic compound, and its mechanism of action is to form co-aggregates with fibronectin, which bind to angiogenic endothelial cells through integrins, become internalized through CLIC1 and elicit a cytotoxic unfolded protein response. The simple structure and high potency of CLT1 make it a potentially useful compound for anti-angiogenic treatments.
CLT1; fibronectin; chloride intracellular channel 1; angiogenesis; integrin
In the mid 1990s, researchers began to investigate the antiangiogenic activity of paclitaxel as a possible additional mechanism contributing to its antineoplastic activity in vivo. In the last decade, a number of studies showed that paclitaxel has antiangiogenic activity that could be ascribed to the inhibition of either tubule formation or cell migration, and to an antiproliferative effect towards activated endothelial cells. Furthermore, paclitaxel was shown to downregulate VEGF and Ang-1 expression in tumor cells, and to increase the secretion of TSP-1 in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, the new pharmaceutical formulations of paclitaxel (such as liposome-encapsulated paclitaxel, ABI-007, and paclitaxel entrapped in emulsifying wax nanoparticles) enhanced the in vivo antiangiogenic activity of the drug. Thus, the preclinical data of paclitaxel may be exploited to implement a novel and rational therapeutic strategy to control tumor progression in patients.
Paclitaxel; Antiangiogenic drugs; Angiogenesis; Preclinical studies
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is a highly conserved signaling cascade that coordinates both epithelial and axonal morphogenic movements during development. Angiogenesis also involves the growth and migration of polarized cells, although the mechanisms underlying their intercellular communication are poorly understood. Here, using cell culture assays, we demonstrate that inhibition of PCP signaling disrupts endothelial cell growth, polarity, and migration, all of which can be rescued through downstream activation of this pathway by expression of either Daam-1, Diversin or Inversin. Silencing of either Dvl2 or Prickle suppressed endothelial cell proliferation. Moreover, loss of p53 rescues endothelial cell growth arrest but not the migration inhibition caused by PCP disruption. In addition, we show that the zebrafish Wnt5 mutant (pipetail (ppt)), which has impaired PCP signaling, displays vascular developmental defects. These findings reveal a potential role for PCP signaling in the coordinated assembly of endothelial cells into vascular structures and have important implications for vascular remodeling in development and disease.
Angiogenesis; Endothelial cells; Proliferation; Migration; Dishevelled; Planar cell polarity; TNP-470; Methionine aminopeptidase-2; Chemical biology; Wnt5; Zebrafish; Pipetail
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key upstream mediator of tumor angiogenesis, and blockade of VEGF can inhibit tumor angiogenesis and decrease tumor growth. However, not all tumors respond well to anti-VEGF therapy. Despite much effort, identification of early response biomarkers that correlate with long-term efficacy of anti-VEGF therapy has been difficult. These difficulties arise in part because the functional effects of VEGF inhibition on tumor vessels are still unclear. We therefore assessed rapid molecular, morphologic and functional vascular responses following treatment with aflibercept (also known as VEGF Trap or ziv-aflibercept in the United States) in preclinical tumor models with a range of responses to anti-VEGF therapy, including Colo205 human colorectal carcinoma (highly sensitive), C6 rat glioblastoma (moderately sensitive), and HT1080 human fibrosarcoma (resistant), and correlated these changes to long-term tumor growth inhibition. We found that an overall decrease in tumor vessel perfusion, assessed by dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US), and increases in tumor hypoxia correlated well with long-term tumor growth inhibition, whereas changes in vascular gene expression and microvessel density did not. Our findings support previous clinical studies showing that decreased tumor perfusion after anti-VEGF therapy (measured by DCE-US) correlated with response. Thus, measuring tumor perfusion changes shortly after treatment with VEGF inhibitors, or possibly other anti-angiogenic therapies, may be useful to predict treatment efficacy.
VEGF blockade; Tumor perfusion; Tumor growth response; Preclinical model; Response biomarker
Angiogenesis is critical to tumor growth as well as to metastases. This process is tightly regulated by pro- and anti-angiogenic growth factors and their receptors. Some of these factors are highly specific for the endothelium—e.g., vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). A variety of drugs that target VEGF or its receptors have been developed for the treatment of different tumor types and a number of new agents is expected to be introduced within the coming years. However, clinical experience has revealed that inhibition of VEGF induces several side effects including hypertension and renal and cardiac toxicity. Angiogenesis-inhibitor-induced hypertension represents “crux medicorum” as it is often pharmacoresistant to antihypertensive therapy. We consider two most important pathomechanisms in the development of hypertension induced by angiogenesis inhibitors. The first represents direct inhibition of NO production leading to reduced vasodilatation and the second consists in increased proliferation of vascular medial cells mediated by NO deficiency and is resulting in fixation of hypertension. Based on the results of experimental and clinical studies as well as on our clinical experience, we assume that NO donors could be successfully used not only for the treatment of developed angiogenesis-inhibitor-induced hypertension but also for preventive effects. We thoroughly documented three clinical cases of cancer patients with resistant hypertension who on receiving NO donor treatment achieved target blood pressure level and a good clinical status.
Angiogenesis; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Anti-angiogenic therapy; Nitric oxide donors; Cell proliferation
The anti-angiogenic activity of chemotherapy is both dose- and schedule-dependent. While conventional maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy exerts only mild and reversible anti-angiogenic effects, low-dose metronomic (LDM) chemotherapy was developed to specifically target tumour angiogenesis. However, the long-term effects of either MTD or LDM chemotherapy on vascular endothelial cells have never been investigated. Here, we demonstrated that repeated exposure to MTD and LDM chemotherapy differentially impact on the angiogenic potential and chemosensitivity of immortalized endothelial cells. Repeated MTD vinblastine treatment of vascular endothelial cells led to an increased proliferation rate and resistance to paclitaxel. In contrast, repeated LDM treatment with vinblastine or etoposide impaired the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells and increased their chemosensitivity. This effect was associated with a significant decrease in βII- and βIII-tubulin expression. Functional analysis using siRNA showed that silencing the expression of βIII-tubulin in endothelial cells significantly decreased their capacity to form vascular structures and increased their sensitivity to the anti-angiogenic and vascular-disrupting effects of chemotherapy, whereas silencing βII-tubulin expression had no effect. Collectively our results show that LDM chemotherapy impairs the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells while increasing their chemosensitivity—an effect at least in part mediated by the down-regulation of βIII-tubulin expression. Furthermore, our study suggests that βIII-tubulin represents an attractive therapeutic target to increase the anti-angiogenic effects of chemotherapy and overall anti-tumour efficacy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-012-9321-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cancer; Angiogenesis; Metronomic chemotherapy; Vascular endothelial cells; ABC transporters; βIII-tubulin
We have previously shown that laminin-8, a vascular basement membrane component, was over-expressed in human glioblastomas multiforme and their adjacent tissues compared to normal brain. Increased laminin-8 correlated with shorter glioblastoma recurrence time and poor patient survival making it a potential marker for glioblastoma diagnostics and prediction of disease outcome. However, laminin-8 therapeutic potential was unknown because the technology of blocking the expression of multi-chain complex proteins was not yet developed. To inhibit the expression of laminin-8 constituents in glioblastoma in vitro and in vivo, we used Polycefin, a bioconjugate drug delivery system based on slime-mold Physarum polycephalum-derived poly(malic acid). It carries an attached transferrin receptor antibody to target tumor cells and to deliver two conjugated morpholino antisense oligonucleotides against laminin-8 α4 and β1 chains. Polycefin efficiently inhibited the expression of both laminin-8 chains by cultured glioblastoma cells. Intracranial Polycefin treatment of human U87MG glioblastoma-bearing nude rats reduced incorporation of both tumor-derived laminin-8 chains into vascular basement membranes. Polycefin was thus able to simultaneously inhibit the expression of two different chains of a complex protein. The treatment also significantly reduced tumor microvessel density (p < 0.001) and area (p < 0.001) and increased animal survival (p < 0.0004). These data suggest that laminin-8 may be important for glioblastoma angiogenesis. Polycefin, a versatile nanoscale drug delivery system, was suitable for in vivo delivery of two antisense oligonucleotides to brain tumor cells causing a reduction of glioblastoma angiogenesis and an increase of animal survival. This system may hold promise for future clinical applications.
Tumor angiogenesis; Glioma; Laminin-8; Multiple drug targeting; Poly(malic acid)
The next-generation ophthalmic anti-VEGF therapeutics must aim at being superior to the currently available agents with regard to potency and improved drug delivery, while still being stable and safe to use at elevated concentrations. We show here the generation of a set of highly potent VEGF-A antagonistic DARPins (designed ankyrin repeat proteins) delivering these properties. DARPins with single-digit picomolar affinity to human VEGF-A were generated using ribosome display selections. Specific and potent human VEGF-A binding was confirmed by ELISA and endothelial cell sprouting assays. Cross-reactivity with VEGF-A of several species was confirmed by ELISA. Intravitreally injected DARPin penetrated into the retina and reduced fluorescein extravasation in a rabbit model of vascular leakage. In addition, topical DARPin application was found to diminish corneal neovascularization in a rabbit suture model, and to suppress laser-induced neovascularization in a rat model. Even at elevated doses, DARPins were safe to use. The fact that several DARPins are highly active in various assays illustrates the favorable class behavior of the selected binders. Anti-VEGF-A DARPins thus represent a novel class of highly potent and specific drug candidates for the treatment of neovascular eye diseases in both the posterior and the anterior eye chamber.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-012-9302-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Binding protein; DARPin; Ophthalmology; Repeat protein; VEGF
Therapeutic regulation of tissue vascularization has appeared as an attractive approach to treat a number of human diseases. In vivo neovascularization assays that reflect physiological and pathological formation of neovessels are important in this effort. In this report we present an assay where the effects of activators and inhibitors of angiogenesis can be quantitatively and qualitatively measured. A provisional matrix composed of collagen I and fibrin was formed in a plastic cylinder and implanted onto the chick chorioallantoic membrane. A nylon mesh separated the implanted matrix from the underlying tissue to distinguish new from pre-existing vessels. Vascularization of the matrix in response to fibroblast growth factor-2 or platelet-derived growth factor-BB was scored in a double-blinded manner, or vessel density was measured using a semi-automated image analysis procedure. Thalidomide, fumagillin, U0126 and TGFβ inhibited neovessel growth while hydrocortisone exerted a negative and wortmannin a toxic effect on the pre-existing vasculature. This quantitative, inexpensive and rapid in vivo angiogenesis assay might be a valuable tool in screening and characterizing factors that influence wound or tumor induced vascularization and in assessing their effects on the normal vasculature.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-012-9287-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Angiogenesis; Animal model; In vivo; Chick chorioallantoic membrane; Drug screening; Wound healing; Tumor