Forkhead box O (Foxo) transcription factors are emerging as critical transcriptional integrators among pathways regulating differentiation, proliferation, and survival, yet the role of the distinct Foxo family members in angiogenic activity of endothelial cells and postnatal vessel formation has not been studied. Here, we show that Foxo1 and Foxo3a are the most abundant Foxo isoforms in mature endothelial cells and that overexpression of constitutively active Foxo1 or Foxo3a, but not Foxo4, significantly inhibits endothelial cell migration and tube formation in vitro. Silencing of either Foxo1 or Foxo3a gene expression led to a profound increase in the migratory and sprout-forming capacity of endothelial cells. Gene expression profiling showed that Foxo1 and Foxo3a specifically regulate a nonredundant but overlapping set of angiogenesis- and vascular remodeling–related genes. Whereas angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) was exclusively regulated by Foxo1, eNOS, which is essential for postnatal neovascularization, was regulated by Foxo1 and Foxo3a. Consistent with these findings, constitutively active Foxo1 and Foxo3a repressed eNOS protein expression and bound to the eNOS promoter. In vivo, Foxo3a deficiency increased eNOS expression and enhanced postnatal vessel formation and maturation. Thus, our data suggest an important role for Foxo transcription factors in the regulation of vessel formation in the adult.
Michael Potente, Carmen Urbich, Ken-ichiro Sasaki, Wolf K. Hofmann, Christopher Heeschen, Alexandra Aicher, Ramya Kollipara, Ronald A. DePinho, Andreas M. Zeiher, Stefanie Dimmeler
Although increased external load initially induces cardiac hypertrophy with preserved contractility, sustained overload eventually leads to heart failure through poorly understood mechanisms. Here we describe a conditional transgenic system in mice characterized by the sequential development of adaptive cardiac hypertrophy with preserved contractility in the acute phase and dilated cardiomyopathy in the chronic phase following the induction of an activated Akt1 gene in the heart. Coronary angiogenesis was enhanced during the acute phase of adaptive cardiac growth but reduced as hearts underwent pathological remodeling. Enhanced angiogenesis in the acute phase was associated with mammalian target of rapamycin–dependent induction of myocardial VEGF and angiopoietin-2 expression. Inhibition of angiogenesis by a decoy VEGF receptor in the acute phase led to decreased capillary density, contractile dysfunction, and impaired cardiac growth. Thus, both heart size and cardiac function are angiogenesis dependent, and disruption of coordinated tissue growth and angiogenesis in the heart contributes to the progression from adaptive cardiac hypertrophy to heart failure.
Ichiro Shiojima, Kaori Sato, Yasuhiro Izumiya, Stephan Schiekofer, Masahiro Ito, Ronglih Liao, Wilson S. Colucci, Kenneth Walsh
NO has been shown to mediate angiogenesis; however, its role in vessel morphogenesis and maturation is not known. Using intravital microscopy, histological analysis, α–smooth muscle actin and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 staining, microsensor NO measurements, and an NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor, we found that NO mediates mural cell coverage as well as vessel branching and longitudinal extension but not the circumferential growth of blood vessels in B16 murine melanomas. NO-sensitive fluorescent probe 4,5-diaminofluorescein imaging, NOS immunostaining, and the use of NOS-deficient mice revealed that eNOS in vascular endothelial cells is the predominant source of NO and induces these effects. To further dissect the role of NO in mural cell recruitment and vascular morphogenesis, we performed a series of independent analyses. Transwell and under-agarose migration assays demonstrated that endothelial cell–derived NO induces directional migration of mural cell precursors toward endothelial cells. An in vivo tissue-engineered blood vessel model revealed that NO mediates endothelial–mural cell interaction prior to vessel perfusion and also induces recruitment of mural cells to angiogenic vessels, vessel branching, and longitudinal extension and subsequent stabilization of the vessels. These data indicate that endothelial cell–derived NO induces mural cell recruitment as well as subsequent morphogenesis and stabilization of angiogenic vessels.
Satoshi Kashiwagi, Yotaro Izumi, Takeshi Gohongi, Zoe N. Demou, Lei Xu, Paul L. Huang, Donald G. Buerk, Lance L. Munn, Rakesh K. Jain, Dai Fukumura
Neovascularization depends on vascular cell proliferation and on the stabilization of vessels by association of vascular smooth muscle–like pericytes with ECs. Here we show that integrin α4β1 (VLA-4) and VCAM-1 promote close intercellular adhesion between ECs and pericytes and that this interaction is required for blood vessel formation. Integrin α4β1 is expressed by proliferating but not quiescent ECs, while its ligand VCAM-1 is expressed by proliferating but not quiescent mural cells. Antagonists of this integrin-ligand pair block the adhesion of mural cells to proliferating endothelia in vitro and in vivo, thereby inducing apoptosis of ECs and pericytes and inhibiting neovascularization. These studies indicate that integrin α4β1 and VCAM-1 facilitate a critical cell-cell adhesion event required for survival of endothelial and mural cells during vascularization.
Barbara Garmy-Susini, Hui Jin, Yuhong Zhu, Rou-Jia Sung, Rosa Hwang, Judy Varner
The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is required for the maintenance of cardiac vessel wall stability during embryonic development through direct angiogenic actions on endothelial cells expressing the tropomysin receptor kinase B (TrkB). However, the role of BDNF and a related neurotrophin ligand, neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), in the regulation of revascularization of the adult tissues is unknown. To study the potential angiogenic capacity of BDNF in mediating the neovascularization of ischemic and non-ischemic adult mouse tissues, we utilized a hindlimb ischemia and a subcutaneous Matrigel model. Recruitment of endothelial cells and promotion of channel formation within the Matrigel plug by BDNF and NT-4 was comparable to that induced by VEGF-A. The introduction of BDNF into non-ischemic ears or ischemic limbs induced neoangiogenesis, with a 2-fold increase in the capillary density. Remarkably, treatment with BDNF progressively increased blood flow in the ischemic limb over 21 days, similar to treatment with VEGF-A. The mechanism by which BDNF enhances capillary formation is mediated in part through local activation of the TrkB receptor and also by recruitment of Sca-1+CD11b+ pro-angiogenic hematopoietic cells. BDNF induces a potent direct chemokinetic action on subsets of marrow-derived Sca-1+ hematopoietic cells co-expressing TrkB. These studies suggest that local regional delivery of BDNF may provide a novel mechanism for inducing neoangiogenesis through both direct actions on local TrkB-expressing endothelial cells in skeletal muscle and recruitment of specific subsets of TrkB+ bone marrow–derived hematopoietic cells to provide peri-endothelial support for the newly formed vessels.
Pouneh Kermani, Dahlia Rafii, David K. Jin, Paul Whitlock, Wendy Schaffer, Anne Chiang, Loic Vincent, Matthias Friedrich, Koji Shido, Neil R. Hackett, Ronald G. Crystal, Shahin Rafii, Barbara L. Hempstead
Edema occurs in asthma and other inflammatory diseases when the rate of plasma leakage from blood vessels exceeds the drainage through lymphatic vessels and other routes. It is unclear to what extent lymphatic vessels grow to compensate for increased leakage during inflammation and what drives the lymphangiogenesis that does occur. We addressed these issues in mouse models of (a) chronic respiratory tract infection with Mycoplasma pulmonis and (b) adenoviral transduction of airway epithelium with VEGF family growth factors. Blood vessel remodeling and lymphangiogenesis were both robust in infected airways. Inhibition of VEGFR-3 signaling completely prevented the growth of lymphatic vessels but not blood vessels. Lack of lymphatic growth exaggerated mucosal edema and reduced the hypertrophy of draining lymph nodes. Airway dendritic cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and epithelial cells expressed the VEGFR-3 ligands VEGF-C or VEGF-D. Adenoviral delivery of either VEGF-C or VEGF-D evoked lymphangiogenesis without angiogenesis, whereas adenoviral VEGF had the opposite effect. After antibiotic treatment of the infection, inflammation and remodeling of blood vessels quickly subsided, but lymphatic vessels persisted. Together, these findings suggest that when lymphangiogenesis is impaired, airway inflammation may lead to bronchial lymphedema and exaggerated airflow obstruction. Correction of defective lymphangiogenesis may benefit the treatment of asthma and other inflammatory airway diseases.
Peter Baluk, Tuomas Tammela, Erin Ator, Natalya Lyubynska, Marc G. Achen, Daniel J. Hicklin, Michael Jeltsch, Tatiana V. Petrova, Bronislaw Pytowski, Steven A. Stacker, Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, David G. Jackson, Kari Alitalo, Donald M. McDonald
Melanoma is the most lethal skin cancer. Most deaths from melanoma result from metastases. Semaphorins have been shown to inhibit neuronal and endothelial cell migration, but the effects of semaphorins on tumor metastasis have not been documented. We found that semaphorin 3F (SEMA3F) was markedly downregulated in highly metastatic human cell lines in vitro and in vivo, which suggested that it may be a metastasis inhibitor. Metastatic human melanoma cells were transfected with SEMA3F and implanted into mice; the resultant tumors did not metastasize. Rather, the primary tumors resembled benign nevi characterized by large areas of apoptosis, diminished vascularity, inhibition of hyperplasia in overlying epidermal cells, and encapsulated tumor borders delineated by thick layers of fibroblasts and collagen matrix. This phenotype is in stark contrast to highly invasive, vascular mock-transfected tumors. In vitro, tumor cells expressing SEMA3F had a diminished capacity to adhere and migrate on fibronectin. Consistent with semaphorin-mediated chemorepulsion of neurons, tumor cells expressing SEMA3F were chemorepulsive for vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells expressing neuropilin-2 (NRP2), a novel mechanism for a tumor angiogenesis inhibitor. The repulsive activity was abrogated by NRP2 RNA interference. Together these results indicate that SEMA3F is a potent metastasis inhibitor that targets both tumor and stromal cells and raise the possibility of SEMA3F having therapeutic potential.
Diane R. Bielenberg, Yasuhiro Hida, Akio Shimizu, Arja Kaipainen, Michael Kreuter, Caroline Choi Kim, Michael Klagsbrun
Negative feedback is a crucial physiological regulatory mechanism, but no such regulator of angiogenesis has been established. Here we report a novel angiogenesis inhibitor that is induced in endothelial cells (ECs) by angiogenic factors and inhibits angiogenesis in an autocrine manner. We have performed cDNA microarray analysis to survey VEGF-inducible genes in human ECs. We characterized one such gene, KIAA1036, whose function had been uncharacterized. The recombinant protein inhibited migration, proliferation, and network formation by ECs as well as angiogenesis in vivo. This inhibitory effect was selective to ECs, as the protein did not affect the migration of smooth muscle cells or fibroblasts. Specific elimination of the expression of KIAA1036 in ECs restored their responsiveness to a higher concentration of VEGF. The expression of KIAA1036 was selective to ECs, and hypoxia or TNF-α abrogated its inducible expression. As this molecule is preferentially expressed in ECs, we designated it “vasohibin.” Transfection of Lewis lung carcinoma cells with the vasohibin gene did not affect the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro, but did inhibit tumor growth and tumor angiogenesis in vivo. We propose vasohibin to be an endothelium-derived negative feedback regulator of angiogenesis.
Kazuhide Watanabe, Yasuhiro Hasegawa, Hiroshi Yamashita, Kazue Shimizu, Yuanying Ding, Mayumi Abe, Hideki Ohta, Keiichi Imagawa, Kanji Hojo, Hideo Maki, Hikaru Sonoda, Yasufumi Sato
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