VEGF is required for growth and survival in neonatal mice. (1/6752)

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)

The cardiac homeobox gene Csx/Nkx2.5 lies genetically upstream of multiple genes essential for heart development. (2/6752)

Csx/Nkx2.5 is a vertebrate homeobox gene with a sequence homology to the Drosophila tinman, which is required for the dorsal mesoderm specification. Recently, heterozygous mutations of this gene were found to cause human congenital heart disease (Schott, J.-J., Benson, D. W., Basson, C. T., Pease, W., Silberbach, G. M., Moak, J. P., Maron, B. J., Seidman, C. E. and Seidman, J. G. (1998) Science 281, 108-111). To investigate the functions of Csx/Nkx2.5 in cardiac and extracardiac development in the vertebrate, we have generated and analyzed mutant mice completely null for Csx/Nkx2.5. Homozygous null embryos showed arrest of cardiac development after looping and poor development of blood vessels. Moreover, there were severe defects in vascular formation and hematopoiesis in the mutant yolk sac. Interestingly, TUNEL staining and PCNA staining showed neither enhanced apoptosis nor reduced cell proliferation in the mutant myocardium. In situ hybridization studies demonstrated that, among 20 candidate genes examined, expression of ANF, BNP, MLC2V, N-myc, MEF2C, HAND1 and Msx2 was disturbed in the mutant heart. Moreover, in the heart of adult chimeric mice generated from Csx/Nkx2.5 null ES cells, there were almost no ES cell-derived cardiac myocytes, while there were substantial contributions of Csx /Nkx2.5-deficient cells in other organs. Whole-mount &bgr;-gal staining of chimeric embryos showed that more than 20% contribution of Csx/Nkx2. 5-deficient cells in the heart arrested cardiac development. These results indicate that (1) the complete null mutation of Csx/Nkx2.5 did not abolish initial heart looping, (2) there was no enhanced apoptosis or defective cell cycle entry in Csx/Nkx2.5 null cardiac myocytes, (3) Csx/Nkx2.5 regulates expression of several essential transcription factors in the developing heart, (4) Csx/Nkx2.5 is required for later differentiation of cardiac myocytes, (5) Csx/Nkx2. 5 null cells exert dominant interfering effects on cardiac development, and (6) there were severe defects in yolk sac angiogenesis and hematopoiesis in the Csx/Nkx2.5 null embryos.  (+info)

Role of alphavbeta3 integrin in the activation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2. (3/6752)

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 (VEGF)-mediated angiogenesis is associated with enhanced endothelial cell survival and induction of Bcl-2 expression. (4/6752)

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell mitogen and permeability factor that is potently angiogenic in vivo. We report here studies that suggest that VEGF potentiates angiogenesis in vivo and prolongs the survival of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) in vitro by inducing expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Growth-factor-enriched and serum-deficient cultures of HDMECs grown on collagen type I gels with VEGF exhibited a 4-fold and a 1.6-fold reduction, respectively, in the proportion of apoptotic cells. Enhanced HDMEC survival was associated with a dose-dependent increase in Bcl-2 expression and a decrease in the expression of the processed forms of the cysteine protease caspase-3. Cultures of HDMECs transduced with and overexpressing Bcl-2 and deprived of growth factors showed enhanced protection from apoptosis and exhibited a twofold increase in cell number and a fourfold increase in the number of capillary-like sprouts. HDMECs overexpressing Bcl-2 when incorporated into polylactic acid sponges and implanted into SCID mice exhibited a sustained fivefold increase in the number of microvessels and a fourfold decrease in the number of apoptotic cells when examined 7 and 14 days later. These results suggest that the angiogenic activity attributed to VEGF may be due in part to its ability to enhance endothelial cell survival by inducing expression of Bcl-2.  (+info)

Endometrial microvascular growth in normal and dysfunctional states. (5/6752)

As a tissue that exhibits rapid cyclical growth and shedding throughout the reproductive life of the female, human endometrium provides a good model for the study of normal physiological angiogenesis. The objective of this paper is to summarize recent data on endometrial vascular growth, present new data on regional variability in endothelial cell proliferation within the endometrium, and interpret this information in light of current knowledge of the mechanisms by which angiogenesis occurs. Conventional angiogenesis normally involves a series of steps which include endothelial cell activation, breakdown of the basement membrane, migration and proliferation of the endothelial cell, fusion of sprouts, and tube formation. Other mechanisms by which angiogenesis occurs include intussusception and vessel elongation. Using immunohistochemical techniques we have shown repeatedly that levels of endothelial cell proliferation within human endometrium do not show any consistent pattern across the different stages of the menstrual cycle, which is unexpected since significant vascular growth must occur during the proliferative phase, when the endometrium increases in thickness by up to 4-fold. There are two possible explanations for this; either there is no obligatory link between endometrial endothelial cell proliferation and new vessel formation, or there is significant variation in endothelial cell proliferation within different regions of the same uterus. Multiple samples from hysterectomy specimens subsequently demonstrated that the variability is due to real differences between individuals, as well as showing that the endothelial cell proliferation index is significantly elevated in functionalis compared with basalis. During these studies we observed that endothelial cell proliferation nearly always appeared inside existing endometrial vessels, rather than be associated with structures that could be identified as vascular sprouts. To explore further whether sprout formation occurs during endometrial angiogenesis, we investigated the immunohistochemical distribution of integrin alphavbeta3 on endometrial endothelial cells. As for endothelial cell proliferation, integrin alphavbeta3 immunostaining was seen only on endothelial cells that appeared within existing blood vessels. The results from these studies have major implications for our understanding of the mechanisms that control endometrial angiogenesis. The lack of correlation between menstrual cycle stage and endothelial cell proliferation index, or endothelial cell expression of integrin alphavbeta3, suggests that vascular growth is not under the overall control of oestrogen and progesterone.  (+info)

Angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor and the endometrium. (6/6752)

Angiogenesis is an essential component of endometrial renewal. The formation of new vessels depends on interactions between various hormones and growth factors, and this review focuses on the expression of angiogenic growth factors in the human endometrium. Peptide and non-peptide angiogenic factors interact during endometrial renewal, including epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factors (e.g. TGF-beta), platelet-derived endothelial growth factor/thymidine phosphorylase (PD-ECGF/TP), tumour necrosis growth factors and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Their role in the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells from pre-existing vessels is described, concentrating on VGEF and its receptors (VEG-R1 and -R2), and the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. The actions of the products of the VEGF gene are outlined, and the hormonal and non-hormonal control of their localization in the human endometrium and biological actions on vasculature and coagulation are described. Finally, the role of VEGF in menorrhagia is assessed.  (+info)

Contribution of natural killer cells to inhibition of angiogenesis by interleukin-12. (7/6752)

Interleukin-12 (IL-12) inhibits angiogenesis in vivo by inducing interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and other downstream mediators. Here, we report that neutralization of natural killer (NK) cell function with antibodies to either asialo GM1 or NK 1.1 reversed IL-12 inhibition of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-induced angiogenesis in athymic mice. By immunohistochemistry, those sites where bFGF-induced neovascularization was inhibited by IL-12 displayed accumulation of NK cells and the presence of IP-10-positive cells. Based on expression of the cytolytic mediators perforin and granzyme B, the NK cells were locally activated. Experimental Burkitt lymphomas treated locally with IL-12 displayed tumor tissue necrosis, vascular damage, and NK-cell infiltration surrounding small vessels. After activation in vitro with IL-12, NK cells from nude mice became strongly cytotoxic for primary cultures of syngeneic aortic endothelial cells. Cytotoxicity was neutralized by antibodies to IFN-gamma. These results document that NK cells are required mediators of angiogenesis inhibition by IL-12, and provide evidence that NK-cell cytotoxicity of endothelial cells is a potential mechanism by which IL-12 can suppress neovascularization.  (+info)

PETA-3/CD151, a member of the transmembrane 4 superfamily, is localised to the plasma membrane and endocytic system of endothelial cells, associates with multiple integrins and modulates cell function. (8/6752)

The Transmembrane 4 Superfamily member, PETA-3/CD151, is ubiquitously expressed by endothelial cells in vivo. In cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells PETA-3 is present on the plasma membrane and predominantly localises to regions of cell-cell contact. Additionally, this protein is abundant within an intracellular compartment which accounts for up to 66% of the total PETA-3 expressed. Intracellular PETA-3 showed colocalisation with transferrin receptor and CD63 suggesting an endosomal/lysosomal localisation which was supported by immuno-electronmicroscopy studies. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments investigating possible interactions of PETA-3 with other molecules demonstrated associations with several integrin chains including beta1, beta3, beta4, (alpha)2, (alpha)3, (alpha)5, (alpha)6 and provide the first report of Transmembrane 4 Superfamily association with the (alpha)6beta4 integrin. Using 2-colour confocal microscopy, we demonstrated similar localisation of PETA-3 and integrin chains within cytoplasmic vesicles and endothelial cell junctions. In order to assess the functional implications of PETA-3/integrin associations, the effect of anti-PETA-3 antibodies on endothelial function was examined. Anti-PETA-3 mAb inhibited endothelial cell migration and modulated in vitro angiogenesis, but had no detectable effect on neutrophil transendothelial migration. The broad range of integrin associations and the presence of PETA-3 with integrins both on the plasma membrane and within intracellular vesicles, suggests a primary role for PETA-3 in regulating integrin trafficking and/or function.  (+info)