New capillaries are formed through angiogenesis and an integral step in this process is endothelial tubulogenesis. The molecular mechanisms driving tube formation during angiogenesis are not yet delineated. Recently, the chloride intracellular channel 4 (CLIC4)-orthologue EXC-4 was found to be necessary for proper development and maintenance of the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory canal, implicating CLIC4 as a regulator of tubulogenesis. Here, we studied the role of CLIC4 in angiogenesis and endothelial tubulogenesis. We report the effects of inhibiting or inducing CLIC4 expression on distinct aspects of endothelial cell behavior in vitro. Our experiments utilized RNA interference to establish cultured human endothelial cell lines with significant reduction of CLIC4 expression, and a CLIC4-expressing lentiviral plasmid was used to establish CLIC4 overexpression in endothelial cells. We observed no effect on cell migration and a modest effect on cell survival. Reduced CLIC4 expression decreased cell proliferation, capillary network formation, capillary-like sprouting, and lumen formation. This suggests that normal endogenous CLIC4 expression is required for angiogenesis and tubulogenesis. Accordingly, increased CLIC4 expression promoted proliferation, network formation, capillary-like sprouting, and lumen formation. We conclude that CLIC4 functions to promote endothelial cell proliferation and to regulate endothelial morphogenesis, and is thus involved in multiple steps of in vitro angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis; CLIC4; Endothelial cells; Proliferation; Tubulogenesis
Despite existing aggressive treatment modalities, the prognosis for advanced stage neuroblastoma remains poor with significant long-term illness in disease survivors. Advance stage disease features are associated with tumor vascularity, and as such, angiogenesis inhibitors may prove useful along with current therapies. The matricellular protein, secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), is known to inhibit proliferation and migration of endothelial cells stimulated by growth factors. Here, we sought to determine the effect of SPARC on neuroblastoma tumor cell-induced angiogenesis and to decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in angiogenesis inhibition. Conditioned medium from SPARC-overexpressed neuroblastoma cells (pSPARC-CM) inhibited endothelial tube formation, cell proliferation, induced programmed cell death and suppressed expression of pro-angiogenic molecules such as VEGF, FGF, PDGF, and MMP-9 in endothelial cells. Further analyses revealed that pSPARC-CM-suppressed expression of growth factors was mediated by inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway, and cells cultured on conditioned medium from tumor cells that overexpress both Notch intracellular domain (NICD-CM) and SPARC resumed the pSPARC-CM-suppressed capillary tube formation and growth factor expression in vitro. Further, SPARC overexpression in neuroblastoma cells inhibited neo-vascularization in vivo in a mouse dorsal air sac model. Furthermore, SPARC overexpression-induced endothelial cell death was observed by co-localization studies with TUNEL assay and an endothelial marker, CD31, in xenograft tumor sections from SPARC-overexpressed mice. Our data collectively suggest that SPARC overexpression induces endothelial cell apoptosis and inhibits angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo.
Neuroblastoma; SPARC; Angiogenesis; Apoptosis
The 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 receptor (5-HT4R) regulates many physiological processes, including learning and memory, cognition, and gastrointestinal motility. Little is known about its role in angiogenesis. Using mouse hindlimb ischemia model of angiogenesis, we observed a significant reduction of limb blood flow recovery 14 days after ischemia and a decrease in density of CD31-positive vessels in adductor muscles in 5-HT4R−/− mice compared to wild type littermates. Our in vitro data indicated that 5-HT4R endogenously expressed in endothelial cells (ECs) may promote angiogenesis. Inhibition of the receptor with 5-HT4R antagonist RS 39604 reduced EC capillary tube formation in the reconstituted basement membrane. Using Boyden chamber migration assay and wound healing “scratch” assay, we demonstrated that RS 39604 treatment significantly suppressed EC migration. Transendothelial resistance measurement and immunofluorescence analysis showed that a 5-HT4R agonist RS 67333 led to an increase in endothelial permeability, actin stress fiber and interendothelial gap formation. Importantly, we provided the evidence that 5-HT4R-regulated EC migration may be mediated by Gα13 and RhoA. Our results suggest a prominent role of 5-HT4R in promoting angiogenesis and identify 5-HT4R as a potential therapeutic target for modulating angiogenesis under pathological conditions.
angiogenesis; 5-hydroxytriptamine 4 receptor; endothelial cell migration; hindlimb ischemia model
Angiogenesis is central to many physiological and pathological processes. Here we show two potent bioinformatically-identified peptides, one derived from collagen IV and translationally optimized, and one from a somatotropin domain-containing protein, synergize in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis assays including cell adhesion, migration and in vivo Matrigel plugs. Peptide-peptide combination therapies have recently been applied to diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but remain uncommon thus far in cancer, age-related macular degeneration and other angiogenesis-dependent diseases. Previous work from our group has shown that the collagen IV-derived peptide primarily binds β1 integrins, while the receptor for the somatotropin-derived peptide remains unknown. We investigate these peptides’ mechanisms of action and find both peptides affect the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway as well as focal adhesion kinase (FAK) by changes in phosphorylation level and total protein content. Blocking of FAK both through binding of β1 integrins and through inhibition of VEGFR2 accounts for the synergy we observe. Since resistance through activation of multiple signaling pathways is a central problem of anti-angiogenic therapies in diseases such as cancer, we suggest that peptide combinations such as these are an approach that should be considered as a means to sustain anti-angiogenic and anti-lymphangiogenic therapy and improve efficacy of treatment.
Angiogenesis; Synergy; Combination therapy; Peptide; Inhibitor
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
The binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) on the surface of vascular endothelial cells stimulates many steps in the angiogenic pathway. Inhibition of this interaction is proving of value in moderating the neovascularization accompanying age-related macular degeneration and in the treatment of cancer. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) has been shown to be a natural VEGFR-2 specific antagonist—an activity that is independent of its ability to inhibit metalloproteinases. In this investigation we localize this activity to the C-terminal domain of the TIMP-3 molecule and characterize a short peptide, corresponding to part of this domain, that not only inhibits all three VEGF-family receptors, but also fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor receptors. This multiple-receptor inhibition may explain why the peptide was also seen to be a powerful inhibitor of tumour growth and also a partial inhibitor of arthritic joint inflammation in vivo.
TIMP-3; VEGFR2; Receptor; Angiogenesis; Arthritis; Tumour
Tumor angiogenesis is essential for tumor invasive growth and metastasis, and generates abnormal vascular structures unlike developmental neovessel formation. To reduce tumor vascular abnormalities such as leakage and perivascular cell coverage deficiency that limit cancer therapy effectiveness, novel therapeutic approaches focus on vessel normalization. We have previously shown that Dickkopf-1 (DKK1), a Wnt antagonist, inhibits and its homolog DKK2 enhances, angiogenesis in normal tissues. In the present study, we investigated the effects of DKK1 and DKK2 on tumor growth and angiogenesis. Treatment of B16F10 melanoma-bearing mice with adenovirus expressing DKK1 significantly reduced tumor growth but DKK2 increased growth compared with controls. Similar pattern of tumor growth was observed in endothelial-specific DKK1 and DKK2 transgenic mice. Interestingly, tumor vascular density and perfusion were significantly decreased by DKK1 but increased by DKK2. Moreover, coverage of blood vessels by pericytes was reduced by DKK1, while DKK2 increased it. We further observed that DKK1 diminished retinal vessel density and increased avascular area in an in vivo murine model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, whereas DKK2 showed opposite results. These findings demonstrate that DKK1 and DKK2 have differential roles in normalization and functionality of tumor blood vessels, in addition to angiogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-013-9390-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
DKK1; DKK2; Tumor angiogenesis; Perivascular coverage; Vessel normalization
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.
Electronic supplementary material
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
Endothelial cells express S100A4, a metastasis-associated protein, but its role in angiogenesis remains to be elucidated. Here we show that knockdown of S100A4 in mouse endothelial MSS31 cells by murine specific small interference RNA (mS100A4 siRNA) markedly suppressed capillary-like tube formation in vitro, in early stage after the treatment, along with down- and up-regulation of some of the pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic gene expression, respectively. Of particular note is that intra-tumor administration of the mS100A4 siRNA in a human prostate cancer xenograft significantly reduced tumor vascularity and resulted in the inhibition of tumor growth. These findings show that S100A4 in endothelial cells is involved in tube formation, and suggest its potential as a molecular target for inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, which warrants further development of endothelial S100A4-based strategies for cancer treatment.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-013-9372-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Angiogenesis; S100A4; siRNA; Endothelial cells; Tumor; Therapy
The NG2 proteoglycan stimulates the proliferation and migration of various immature cell types, including pericytes. However, the role of NG2 in mediating pericyte/endothelial cell interaction has been less clear. In this study, we show that pericyte-specific NG2 ablation causes several structural deficits in blood vessels in intracranial B16F10 melanomas, including decreased pericyte ensheathment of endothelial cells, diminished formation of endothelial junctions, and reduced assembly of the vascular basal lamina. These deficits result in decreased tumor vessel patency, increased vessel leakiness, and increased intratumoral hypoxia. NG2-dependent mechanisms of pericyte interaction with endothelial cells are further explored in pericyte/endothelial cell co-cultures. siRNA-mediated NG2 knockdown in pericytes leads to reduced formation of pericyte/endothelial networks, reduced formation of ZO-1 positive endothelial cell junctions, and increased permeability of endothelial cell monolayers. We also show that NG2 knockdown results in loss of β1 integrin activation in endothelial cells, revealing a mechanism for NG2-dependent cross talk between pericytes and endothelial cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10456-013-9378-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Blood vessels; Co-culture systems; Endothelial cells; NG2 proteoglycan; Pericytes; β1 integrins
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