Children conceived by assisted reproductive technologies (ART) display a level of vascular dysfunction similar to that seen in children of mothers with preeclamspia. The long-term consequences of ART-associated vascular disorders are unknown and difficult to investigate in healthy children. Here, we found that vasculature from mice generated by ART display endothelial dysfunction and increased stiffness, which translated into arterial hypertension in vivo. Progeny of male ART mice also exhibited vascular dysfunction, suggesting underlying epigenetic modifications. ART mice had altered methylation at the promoter of the gene encoding eNOS in the aorta, which correlated with decreased vascular eNOS expression and NO synthesis. Administration of a deacetylase inhibitor to ART mice normalized vascular gene methylation and function and resulted in progeny without vascular dysfunction. The induction of ART-associated vascular and epigenetic alterations appeared to be related to the embryo environment; these alterations were possibly facilitated by the hormonally stimulated ovulation accompanying ART. Finally, ART mice challenged with a high-fat diet had roughly a 25% shorter life span compared with control animals. This study highlights the potential of ART to induce vascular dysfunction and shorten life span and suggests that epigenetic alterations contribute to these problems.
Emrush Rexhaj, Ariane Paoloni-Giacobino, Stefano F. Rimoldi, Daniel G. Fuster, Manuel Anderegg, Emmanuel Somm, Elisa Bouillet, Yves Allemann, Claudio Sartori, Urs Scherrer
Aberrant blood vessel formation contributes to a wide variety of pathologies, and factors that regulate angiogenesis are attractive therapeutic targets. Endothelial and smooth muscle cell–derived neuropilin-like protein (ESDN) is a neuropilin-related transmembrane protein expressed in ECs; however, its potential effect on VEGF responses remains undefined. Here, we generated global and EC-specific
Lei Nie, Xiaojia Guo, Leila Esmailzadeh, Jiasheng Zhang, Abolfazl Asadi, Mark Collinge, Xuan Li, Jun-Dae Kim, Melissa Woolls, Suk-Won Jin, Alexandre Dubrac, Anne Eichmann, Michael Simons, Jeffrey R. Bender, Mehran M. Sadeghi
Vascular networks develop from a growing vascular front that responds to VEGF and other guidance cues. Angiogenesis is required for normal tissue function, but, under conditions of stress, inappropriate vascularization can lead to disease. Therefore, inhibition of angiogenic sprouting may prevent neovascularization in patients with blinding neovascular eye diseases, including macular degeneration. VEGF antagonists have therapeutic benefits but also can elicit off-target effects. Here, we found that the Ras pathway, which functions downstream of a wide range of cytokines including VEGF, is active in the growing vascular front of developing and pathological vascular networks. The endogenous Ras inhibitor p120RasGAP was expressed predominately in quiescent VEGF-insensitive endothelial cells and was ectopically downregulated in multiple neovascular models. MicroRNA-132 negatively regulated p120RasGAP expression. Experimental delivery of α-miR-132 to developing mouse eyes disrupted tip cell Ras activity and prevented angiogenic sprouting. This strategy prevented ocular neovascularization in multiple rodent models even more potently than the VEGF antagonist, VEGF-trap. Targeting microRNA-132 as a therapeutic strategy may prove useful for treating multiple neovascular diseases of the eye and for preventing vision loss regardless of the neovascular stimulus.
Peter D. Westenskow, Toshihide Kurihara, Edith Aguilar, Elizabeth L. Scheppke, Stacey K. Moreno, Carli Wittgrove, Valentina Marchetti, Iacovos P. Michael, Sudarshan Anand, Andras Nagy, David Cheresh, Martin Friedlander
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the Western world. Cytokine-targeted therapies (such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) are effective in treating pathologic ocular angiogenesis, but have not led to a durable effect and often require indefinite treatment. Here, we show that Nutlin-3, a small molecule antagonist of the E3 ubiquitin protein ligase MDM2, inhibited angiogenesis in several model systems. We found that a functional p53 pathway was essential for Nutlin-3–mediated retinal antiangiogenesis and disruption of the p53 transcriptional network abolished the antiangiogenic activity of Nutlin-3. Nutlin-3 did not inhibit established, mature blood vessels in the adult mouse retina, suggesting that only proliferating retinal vessels are sensitive to Nutlin-3. Furthermore, Nutlin-3 inhibited angiogenesis in nonretinal models such as the hind limb ischemia model. Our work demonstrates that Nutlin-3 functions through an antiproliferative pathway with conceivable advantages over existing cytokine-targeted antiangiogenesis therapies.
Sai H. Chavala, Younghee Kim, Laura Tudisco, Valeria Cicatiello, Till Milde, Nagaraj Kerur, Nidia Claros, Susan Yanni, Victor H. Guaiquil, William W. Hauswirth, John S. Penn, Shahin Rafii, Sandro De Falco, Thomas C. Lee, Jayakrishna Ambati
Activation of cells intrinsic to the vessel wall is central to the initiation and progression of vascular inflammation. As the dominant cellular constituent of the vessel wall, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and their functions are critical determinants of vascular disease. While factors that regulate VSMC proliferation and migration have been identified, the endogenous regulators of VSMC proinflammatory activation remain incompletely defined. The Kruppel-like family of transcription factors (KLFs) are important regulators of inflammation. In this study, we identified Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) as an essential regulator of VSMC proinflammatory activation. KLF15 levels were markedly reduced in human atherosclerotic tissues. Mice with systemic and smooth muscle–specific deficiency of KLF15 exhibited an aggressive inflammatory vasculopathy in two distinct models of vascular disease: orthotopic carotid artery transplantation and diet-induced atherosclerosis. We demonstrated that KLF15 alters the acetylation status and activity of the proinflammatory factor NF-κB through direct interaction with the histone acetyltransferase p300. These studies identify a previously unrecognized KLF15-dependent pathway that regulates VSMC proinflammatory activation.
Yuan Lu, Lisheng Zhang, Xudong Liao, Panjamaporn Sangwung, Domenick A. Prosdocimo, Guangjin Zhou, Alexander R. Votruba, Leigh Brian, Yuh Jung Han, Huiyun Gao, Yunmei Wang, Koichi Shimizu, Kaitlyn Weinert-Stein, Maria Khrestian, Daniel I. Simon, Neil J. Freedman, Mukesh K. Jain
Dysfunctional bone morphogenetic protein receptor-2 (BMPR2) signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We used a transcriptional high-throughput luciferase reporter assay to screen 3,756 FDA-approved drugs and bioactive compounds for induction of BMPR2 signaling. The best response was achieved with FK506 (tacrolimus), via a dual mechanism of action as a calcineurin inhibitor that also binds FK-binding protein-12 (FKBP12), a repressor of BMP signaling. FK506 released FKBP12 from type I receptors activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1), ALK2, and ALK3 and activated downstream SMAD1/5 and MAPK signaling and ID1 gene regulation in a manner superior to the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and the FKBP12 ligand rapamycin. In pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs) from patients with idiopathic PAH, low-dose FK506 reversed dysfunctional BMPR2 signaling. In mice with conditional
Edda Spiekerkoetter, Xuefei Tian, Jie Cai, Rachel K. Hopper, Deepti Sudheendra, Caiyun G. Li, Nesrine El-Bizri, Hirofumi Sawada, Roxanna Haghighat, Roshelle Chan, Leila Haghighat, Vinicio de Jesus Perez, Lingli Wang, Sushma Reddy, Mingming Zhao, Daniel Bernstein, David E. Solow-Cordero, Philip A. Beachy, Thomas J. Wandless, Peter ten Dijke, Marlene Rabinovitch
Liver X receptors (LXR) are stimulated by cholesterol-derived oxysterols and serve as transcription factors to regulate gene expression in response to alterations in cholesterol. In the present study, we investigated the role of LXRs in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and discovered that LXRβ has nonnuclear function and stimulates EC migration by activating endothelial NOS (eNOS). This process is mediated by estrogen receptor-α (ERα). LXR activation promoted the direct binding of LXRβ to the ligand-binding domain of ERα and initiated an extranuclear signaling cascade that requires ERα Ser118 phosphorylation by PI3K/AKT. Further studies revealed that LXRβ and ERα are colocalized and functionally coupled in EC plasma membrane caveolae/lipid rafts. In isolated aortic rings, LXR activation of NOS caused relaxation, while in mice, LXR activation stimulated carotid artery reendothelialization via LXRβ- and ERα-dependent processes. These studies demonstrate that LXRβ has nonnuclear function in EC caveolae/lipid rafts that entails crosstalk with ERα, which promotes NO production and maintains endothelial monolayer integrity in vivo.
Tomonori Ishikawa, Ivan S. Yuhanna, Junko Umetani, Wan-Ru Lee, Kenneth S. Korach, Philip W. Shaul, Michihisa Umetani
Septic shock is characterized by increased vascular permeability and hypotension despite increased cardiac output. Numerous vasoactive cytokines are upregulated during sepsis, including angiopoietin 2 (ANG2), which increases vascular permeability. Here we report that mice engineered to inducibly overexpress ANG2 in the endothelium developed sepsis-like hemodynamic alterations, including systemic hypotension, increased cardiac output, and dilatory cardiomyopathy. Conversely, mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted ANG2 overexpression failed to develop hemodynamic alterations. Interestingly, the hemodynamic alterations associated with endothelial-specific overexpression of ANG2 and the loss of capillary-associated pericytes were reversed by intravenous injections of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) transducing cDNA for angiopoietin 1, a TIE2 ligand that antagonizes ANG2, or AAVs encoding PDGFB, a chemoattractant for pericytes. To confirm the role of ANG2 in sepsis, we i.p. injected LPS into C57BL/6J mice, which rapidly developed hypotension, acute pericyte loss, and increased vascular permeability. Importantly, ANG2 antibody treatment attenuated LPS-induced hemodynamic alterations and reduced the mortality rate at 36 hours from 95% to 61%. These data indicate that ANG2-mediated microvascular disintegration contributes to septic shock and that inhibition of the ANG2/TIE2 interaction during sepsis is a potential therapeutic target.
Tilman Ziegler, Jan Horstkotte, Claudia Schwab, Vanessa Pfetsch, Karolina Weinmann, Steffen Dietzel, Ina Rohwedder, Rabea Hinkel, Lisa Gross, Seungmin Lee, Junhao Hu, Oliver Soehnlein, Wolfgang M. Franz, Markus Sperandio, Ulrich Pohl, Markus Thomas, Christian Weber, Hellmut G. Augustin, Reinhard Fässler, Urban Deutsch, Christian Kupatt
Retinal vessel homeostasis ensures normal ocular functions. Consequently, retinal hypovascularization and neovascularization, causing a lack and an excess of vessels, respectively, are hallmarks of human retinal pathology. We provide evidence that EC-specific genetic ablation of either the transcription factor SRF or its cofactors MRTF-A and MRTF-B, but not the SRF cofactors ELK1 or ELK4, cause retinal hypovascularization in the postnatal mouse eye. Inducible, EC-specific deficiency of SRF or MRTF-A/MRTF-B during postnatal angiogenesis impaired endothelial tip cell filopodia protrusion, resulting in incomplete formation of the retinal primary vascular plexus, absence of the deep plexi, and persistence of hyaloid vessels. All of these features are typical of human hypovascularization-related vitreoretinopathies, such as familial exudative vitreoretinopathies including Norrie disease. In contrast, conditional EC deletion of
Christine Weinl, Heidemarie Riehle, Dongjeong Park, Christine Stritt, Susanne Beck, Gesine Huber, Hartwig Wolburg, Eric N. Olson, Mathias W. Seeliger, Ralf H. Adams, Alfred Nordheim
Lymphatic vessels are thought to arise from PROX1-positive endothelial cells (ECs) in the cardinal vein in response to induction of SOX18 expression; however, the molecular event responsible for increased SOX18 expression has not been established. We generated mice with endothelial-specific, inducible expression of an
Yong Deng, Deepak Atri, Anne Eichmann, Michael Simons