VEGF is required for growth and survival in neonatal mice.
We employed two independent approaches to inactivate the angiogenic protein VEGF in newborn mice: inducible, Cre-loxP- mediated gene targeting, or administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, a soluble VEGF receptor chimeric protein. Partial inhibition of VEGF achieved by inducible gene targeting resulted in increased mortality, stunted body growth and impaired organ development, most notably of the liver. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, which achieves a higher degree of VEGF inhibition, resulted in nearly complete growth arrest and lethality. Ultrastructural analysis documented alterations in endothelial and other cell types. Histological and biochemical changes consistent with liver and renal failure were observed. Endothelial cells isolated from the liver of mFlt(1-3)-IgG-treated neonates demonstrated an increased apoptotic index, indicating that VEGF is required not only for proliferation but also for survival of endothelial cells. However, such treatment resulted in less significant alterations as the animal matured, and the dependence on VEGF was eventually lost some time after the fourth postnatal week. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG to juvenile mice failed to induce apoptosis in liver endothelial cells. Thus, VEGF is essential for growth and survival in early postnatal life. However, in the fully developed animal, VEGF is likely to be involved primarily in active angiogenesis processes such as corpus luteum development. (+info)
Role of alphavbeta3 integrin in the activation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2.
Interaction between integrin alphavbeta3 and extracellular matrix is crucial for endothelial cells sprouting from capillaries and for angiogenesis. Furthermore, integrin-mediated outside-in signals co-operate with growth factor receptors to promote cell proliferation and motility. To determine a potential regulation of angiogenic inducer receptors by the integrin system, we investigated the interaction between alphavbeta3 integrin and tyrosine kinase vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) in human endothelial cells. We report that tyrosine-phosphorylated VEGFR-2 co-immunoprecipitated with beta3 integrin subunit, but not with beta1 or beta5, from cells stimulated with VEGF-A165. VEGFR-2 phosphorylation and mitogenicity induced by VEGF-A165 were enhanced in cells plated on the alphavbeta3 ligand, vitronectin, compared with cells plated on the alpha5beta1 ligand, fibronectin or the alpha2beta1 ligand, collagen. BV4 anti-beta3 integrin mAb, which does not interfere with endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin, reduced (i) the tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGFR-2; (ii) the activation of downstream transductor phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase; and (iii) biological effects triggered by VEGF-A165. These results indicate a new role for alphavbeta3 integrin in the activation of an in vitro angiogenic program in endothelial cells. Besides being the most important survival system for nascent vessels by regulating cell adhesion to matrix, alphavbeta3 integrin participates in the full activation of VEGFR-2 triggered by VEGF-A, which is an important angiogenic inducer in tumors, inflammation and tissue regeneration. (+info)
Vascular endothelial growth factor activates nuclear factor of activated T cells in human endothelial cells: a role for tissue factor gene expression.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic inducer that stimulates the expression of tissue factor (TF), the major cellular initiator of blood coagulation. Here we show that signaling triggered by VEGF induced DNA-binding and transcriptional activities of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and AP-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). VEGF also induced TF mRNA expression and gene promoter activation by a cyclosporin A (CsA)-sensitive mechanism. As in lymphoid cells, NFAT was dephosphorylated and translocated to the nucleus upon activation of HUVECs, and these processes were blocked by CsA. NFAT was involved in the VEGF-mediated TF promoter activation as evidenced by cotransfection experiments with a dominant negative version of NFAT and site-directed mutagenesis of a newly identified NFAT site within the TF promoter that overlaps with a previously identified kappaB-like site. Strikingly, this site bound exclusively NFAT not only from nuclear extracts of HUVECs activated by VEGF, a stimulus that failed to induce NF-kappaB-binding activity, but also from extracts of cells activated with phorbol esters and calcium ionophore, a combination of stimuli that triggered the simultaneous activation of NFAT and NF-kappaB. These results implicate NFAT in the regulation of endothelial genes by physiological means and shed light on the mechanisms that switch on the gene expression program induced by VEGF and those regulating TF gene expression. (+info)
Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in human oral squamous cell carcinoma: its association with tumour progression and p53 gene status.
AIMS: To correlate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma with the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis; and to assess whether p53 gene status is associated with VEGF expression in human cancers. METHODS: Tumour specimens from 45 patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas were examined. Expression of VEGF was determined using an immunohistochemical method, and a tumour was considered positive when more than 5% of the neoplastic cells showed VEGF immunoreactivity. The p53 gene status was screened using a polymerase chain reaction--single strand conformation polymorphism analysis. RESULTS: VEGF positive staining was detected in 19 (42.2%) of the 45 cases. VEGF immunoreactivity did not correlate with the histological degree of tumour differentiation, clinical stages, or lymph node metastasis. The patients with VEGF positive tumours had a significantly worse prognosis than those with VEGF negative tumours. The five year overall survival rate of the VEGF negative patients was 76.5%, as compared with 48.8% for the VEGF positive patients. No significant association between VEGF expression and the p53 gene status of the tumours was found. CONCLUSIONS: VEGF is a good prognostic indicator of the survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma. The p53 gene status does not seem to be associated with VEGF expression in these cancers. (+info)
Differential regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor fms-like-tyrosine kinase is mediated by nitric oxide in rat renal mesangial cells.
Under conditions associated with local and systemic inflammation, mesangial cells and invading immune cells are likely to be responsible for the release of large amounts of nitric oxide (NO) in the glomerulus. To further define the mechanisms of NO action in the glomerulus, we attempted to identify genes which are regulated by NO in rat glomerular mesangial cells. We identified vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor fms-like tyrosine kinase (FLT-1) to be under the regulatory control of exogenously applied NO in these cells. Using S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) as an NO-donating agent, VEGF expression was strongly induced, whereas expression of its FLT-1 receptor simultaneously decreased. Expressional regulation of VEGF and FLT-1 mRNA was transient and occurred rapidly within 1-3 h after GSNO treatment. Expression of a second VEGF-specific receptor, fetal liver kinase-1 (FLK-1/KDR), could not be detected. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta mediated a moderate increase in VEGF expression after 24 h and had no influence on FLT-1 expression. In contrast, platelet-derived growth factor-BB and basic fibroblast growth factor had no effect on VEGF expression, but strongly induced FLT-1 mRNA levels. Obviously, there is a differential regulation of VEGF and its receptor FLT-1 by NO, cytokines and growth factors in rat mesangial cells. (+info)
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) directly stimulates endothelial cell proliferation and migration via tyrosine kinase receptors of the split kinase domain family. It mediates vascular growth and angiogenesis in the embryo but also in the adult in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. The potential binding site of VEGF with its receptor was identified using cellulose-bound overlapping peptides of the extracytosolic part of the human vascular endothelial growth factor receptor II (VEGFR II). Thus, a peptide originating from the third globular domain of the VEGFR II comprising residues 247RTELNVGIDFNWEYP261 was revealed as contiguous sequence stretch, which bound 125I-VEGF165. A systematic replacement with L-amino acids within the peptide representing the putative VEGF-binding site on VEGFR II indicates Asp255 as the hydrophilic key residue for binding. The dimerized peptide (RTELNVGIDFNWEYPAS)2K inhibits VEGF165 binding with an IC50 of 0.5 microM on extracellular VEGFR II fragments and 30 microM on human umbilical vein cells. VEGF165-stimulated autophosphorylation of VEGFR II as well as proliferation and migration of microvascular endothelial cells was inhibited by the monomeric peptide RTELNVGIDFNWEYPASK at a half-maximal concentration of 3-10, 0.1, and 0.1 microM, respectively. We conclude that transduction of the VEGF165 signal can be interrupted with a peptide derived from the third Ig-like domain of VEGFR II by blockade of VEGF165 binding to its receptor. (+info)
Expression of thrombospondin-1 in ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization.
Thrombospondin-1 is an extracellular matrix protein that inhibits endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. This study was performed to investigate the role of thrombospondin-1 in ischemic retinal neovascularization. In a murine model of retinal neovascularization, thrombospondin-1 mRNA was increased from postnatal day 13 (P13), with a threefold peak response observed on P15, corresponding to the time of development of retinal neovascularization. Prominent expression of thrombospondin-1 was observed in neovascular cells, specifically, cells adjacent to the area of nonperfusion. It has been suggested that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a major role in ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization of this model, so we studied the effects of VEGF on thrombospondin-1 expression. In bovine retinal microcapillary endothelial cells, VEGF induced a biphasic response of thrombospondin-1 expression; VEGF decreased thrombospondin-1 mRNA 0.41-fold after 4 hours, whereas it increased, with a threefold peak response, after 24 hours. VEGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation was completely inhibited by exogenous thrombospondin-1 and increased by 37.5% with anti-thrombospondin-1 antibody. The present findings suggest that, in the ischemic retina, retinal neovascular cells increase thrombospondin-1 expression, and VEGF may stimulate endogenous thrombospondin-1 induction, which inhibits endothelial cell growth. VEGF-mediated thrombospondin-1 induction in ischemia-induced angiogenesis may be a negative feedback mechanism. (+info)
Rescue of diabetes-related impairment of angiogenesis by intramuscular gene therapy with adeno-VEGF.
Diabetes is a major risk factor for coronary and peripheral artery diseases. Although diabetic patients often present with advanced forms of these diseases, it is not known whether the compensatory mechanisms to vascular ischemia are affected in this condition. Accordingly, we sought to determine whether diabetes could: 1) impair the development of new collateral vessel formation in response to tissue ischemia and 2) inhibit cytokine-induced therapeutic neovascularization. Hindlimb ischemia was created by femoral artery ligation in nonobese diabetic mice (NOD mice, n = 20) and in control C57 mice (n = 20). Hindlimb perfusion was evaluated by serial laser Doppler studies after the surgery. In NOD mice, measurement of the Doppler flow ratio between the ischemic and the normal limb indicated that restoration of perfusion in the ischemic hindlimb was significantly impaired. At day 14 after surgery, Doppler flow ratio in the NOD mice was 0.49+/-0.04 versus 0.73+/-0.06 for the C57 mice (P< or =0.005). This impairment in blood flow recovery persisted throughout the duration of the study with Doppler flow ratio values at day 35 of 0.50+/-0.05 versus 0.90+/-0.07 in the NOD and C57 mice, respectively (P< or =0.001). CD31 immunostaining confirmed the laser Doppler data by showing a significant reduction in capillary density in the NOD mice at 35 days after surgery (302+/-4 capillaries/mm2 versus 782+/-78 in C57 mice (P< or =0.005). The reduction in neovascularization in the NOD mice was the result of a lower level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the ischemic tissues, as assessed by Northern blot, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The central role of VEGF was confirmed by showing that normal levels of neovascularization (compared with C57) could be achieved in NOD mice that had been supplemented for this growth factor via intramuscular injection of an adenoviral vector encoding for VEGF. We conclude that 1) diabetes impairs endogenous neovascularization of ischemic tissues; 2) the impairment in new blood vessel formation results from reduced expression of VEGF; and 3) cytokine supplementation achieved by intramuscular adeno-VEGF gene transfer restores neovascularization in a mouse model of diabetes. (+info)