Endoglin regulates mural cell adhesion in the circulatory system.
ABSTRACT: The circulatory system is walled off by different cell types, including vascular mural cells and podocytes. The interaction and interplay between endothelial cells (ECs) and mural cells, such as vascular smooth muscle cells or pericytes, play a pivotal role in vascular biology. Endoglin is an RGD-containing counter-receptor for ?1 integrins and is highly expressed by ECs during angiogenesis. We find that the adhesion between vascular ECs and mural cells is enhanced by integrin activators and inhibited upon suppression of membrane endoglin or ?1-integrin, as well as by addition of soluble endoglin (SolEng), anti-integrin ?5?1 antibody or an RGD peptide. Analysis of different endoglin mutants, allowed the mapping of the endoglin RGD motif as involved in the adhesion process. In Eng (+/-) mice, a model for hereditary hemorrhagic telangectasia type 1, endoglin haploinsufficiency induces a pericyte-dependent increase in vascular permeability. Also, transgenic mice overexpressing SolEng, an animal model for preeclampsia, show podocyturia, suggesting that SolEng is responsible for podocytes detachment from glomerular capillaries. These results suggest a critical role for endoglin in integrin-mediated adhesion of mural cells and provide a better understanding on the mechanisms of vessel maturation in normal physiology as well as in pathologies such as preeclampsia or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.
Project description: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 alpha4beta1 (VLA-4) and VCAM-1 promote close intercellular adhesion between ECs and pericytes and that this interaction is required for blood vessel formation. Integrin alpha4beta1 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 alpha4beta1 and VCAM-1 facilitate a critical cell-cell adhesion event required for survival of endothelial and mural cells during vascularization.
Project description:Complex interactions between platelets and activated endothelium occur during the thrombo-inflammatory reaction at sites of vascular injuries and during vascular hemostasis. The endothelial receptor endoglin is involved in inflammation through integrin-mediated leukocyte adhesion and transmigration; and heterozygous mutations in the endoglin gene cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1. This vascular disease is characterized by a bleeding tendency that is postulated to be a consequence of telangiectasia fragility rather than a platelet defect, since platelets display normal functions in vitro in this condition. Here, we hypothesize that endoglin may act as an adhesion molecule involved in the interaction between endothelial cells and platelets through integrin recognition. We find that the extracellular domain of human endoglin promotes specific platelet adhesion under static conditions and confers resistance of adherent platelets to detachment upon exposure to flow. Also, platelets adhere to confluent endothelial cells in an endoglin-mediated process. Remarkably, Chinese hamster ovary cells ectopically expressing the human ?IIb?3 integrin acquire the capacity to adhere to myoblast transfectants expressing human endoglin, whereas platelets from Glanzmann's thrombasthenia patients lacking the ?IIb?3 integrin are defective for endoglin-dependent adhesion to endothelial cells. Furthermore, the bleeding time, but not the prothrombin time, is significantly prolonged in endoglin-haplodeficient (Eng +/-) mice compared to Eng +/+ animals. These results suggest a new role for endoglin in ?IIb?3 integrin-mediated adhesion of platelets to the endothelium, and may provide a better understanding on the basic cellular mechanisms involved in hemostasis and thrombo-inflammatory events.
Project description:The discovery of new treatments that prevent or treat preeclampsia would be a major advance. Antiangiogenic factors soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and soluble endoglin (sENG) are secreted in excess from the placenta, causing hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, and multiorgan injury. We recently identified metformin and esomeprazole as potential treatments for preeclampsia. Both reduce placental and endothelial secretion of sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin, and reduce endothelial dysfunction.We set out to assess whether combining metformin and esomeprazole would additively reduce sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin secretion and reduce endothelial dysfunction (verses drug alone). Metformin and esomeprazole were added to primary placental cells and tissues, and endothelial cells and their effects on sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin secretion were assessed in vitro. Tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) was added to endothelial cells to induce dysfunction in vitro. We examined the ability of metformin + esomeprazole to rescue TNF-? induced vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and Endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression, leukocyte adhesion (markers of endothelial dysfunction).Combining metformin and esomeprazole was additive at reducing sFlt-1 secretion and expression of sFlt-1 e15a mRNA isoform in primary cytotrophoblast, placental explants and endothelial cells. In contrast, no additive reduction in sENG was observed with combined metformin and esomeprazole. The low-dose combination of metformin + esomeprazole additively reduced TNF-?-induced VCAM-1 mRNA, but not VCAM-1 protein expression. There was no additive reduction when combining metformin and esomeprazole on TNF-? induced PBMC adhesion to endothelial cells. However, combining metformin and esomeprazole additively reduced ET-1 mRNA expression.In conclusion combining metformin and esomeprazole additively reduced secretion of sFlt-1, and markers of endothelial dysfunction. The combination of metformin and esomeprazole may provide a more effective treatment or prevention for preeclampsia compared to either as single agents.
Project description:Clinical studies have established a connection between oxidative stress, aging, and atherogenesis. These factors contribute to senescence and inflammation in the endothelium and significant reductions in endothelium-dependent vasoreactivity in aged patients. Tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEBVs) recapitulate the structure and function of arteries and arterioles in vitro. We developed a TEBV model for vascular senescence and examined the relative influence of endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell senescence on vasoreactivity. Senescence was induced in 2D endothelial cell cultures and TEBVs by exposure to 100 µM H2O2 for one week to model chronic oxidative stress. H2O2 treatment significantly increased senescence in endothelial cells and mural cells, human neonatal dermal fibroblasts (hNDFs), as measured by increased p21 levels and reduced NOS3 expression. Although H2O2 treatment induced senescence in both the endothelial cells (ECs) and hNDFs, the functional effects on the vasculature were endothelium specific. Expression of the leukocyte adhesion molecule vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) was increased in the ECs, and endothelium-dependent vasodilation decreased. Vasoconstriction and endothelium-independent vasodilation were preserved despite mural cell senescence. The results suggest that the functional effects of vascular cell senescence are dominated by the endothelium.
Project description:Morphogenesis of the vascular system is strongly modulated by mechanical forces from blood flow. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an inherited autosomal-dominant disease in which arteriovenous malformations and telangiectasias accumulate with age. Most cases are linked to heterozygous mutations in Alk1 or Endoglin, receptors for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) 9 and 10. Evidence suggests that a second hit results in clonal expansion of endothelial cells to form lesions with poor mural cell coverage that spontaneously rupture and bleed. We now report that fluid shear stress potentiates BMPs to activate Alk1 signaling, which correlates with enhanced association of Alk1 and endoglin. Alk1 is required for BMP9 and flow responses, whereas endoglin is only required for enhancement by flow. This pathway mediates both inhibition of endothelial proliferation and recruitment of mural cells; thus, its loss blocks flow-induced vascular stabilization. Identification of Alk1 signaling as a convergence point for flow and soluble ligands provides a molecular mechanism for development of HHT lesions.
Project description:Podocyturia, the shedding of live podocytes, is present at delivery in women with preeclampsia. The aim of this study was to test whether podocyturia is present earlier in pregnancy and predicts for preeclampsia. We also aimed to compare test characteristics of podocyturia with those of angiogenic factors previously implicated in the pathogenesis of this disorder. We prospectively enrolled 315 women who provided blood and urine samples at the end of the second trimesters of their pregnancies (median, 27 gestational weeks) and within 24 hours of their deliveries (median, 39.5 gestational weeks). Blood samples were analyzed for angiogenic markers, including placental growth factor, the soluble receptor fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-1 for vascular endothelial growth factor, and endoglin. The urine sediments were analyzed for podocytes, identified by staining for podocin after culturing the urinary sediments for 24 hours. This analysis included all women who developed preeclampsia (n=15), gestational hypertension (n=15), and a subsample of women who remained normotensive throughout pregnancy (n=44), matched for maternal age and number of previous pregnancies to those who developed preeclampsia. At the second trimester collection, all women who developed preeclampsia had podocyturia, compared with none of those who remained normotensive or were diagnosed with gestational hypertension. Podocyturia in the second trimester had a significantly greater sensitivity and specificity for the subsequent diagnosis of preeclampsia than any single angiogenic marker or a combination thereof. Screening for podocyturia at the end of the second trimester may allow for accurate identification of pregnant women at risk for preeclampsia.
Project description:Soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) is a circulatory molecule that activates αvβ3 integrin on podocytes, causes foot process effacement, and contributes to proteinuric kidney disease. While active integrin can be targeted by antibodies and small molecules, endogenous inhibitors haven't been discovered yet. Here we report what we believe is a novel renoprotective role for the inducible costimulator ligand (ICOSL) in early kidney disease through its selective binding to podocyte αvβ3 integrin. Contrary to ICOSL's immune-regulatory role, ICOSL in nonhematopoietic cells limited the activation of αvβ3 integrin. Specifically, ICOSL contains the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) motif, which allowed for a high-affinity and selective binding to αvβ3 and modulation of podocyte adhesion. This binding was largely inhibited either by a synthetic RGD peptide or by a disrupted RGD sequence in ICOSL. ICOSL binding favored the active αvβ3 rather than the inactive form and showed little affinity for other integrins. Consistent with the rapid induction of podocyte ICOSL by inflammatory stimuli, glomerular ICOSL expression was increased in biopsies of early-stage human proteinuric kidney diseases. Icosl deficiency in mice resulted in an increased susceptibility to proteinuria that was rescued by recombinant ICOSL. Our work identified a potentially novel role for ICOSL, which serves as an endogenous αvβ3-selective antagonist to maintain glomerular filtration.
Project description:The formation of cell-cell and cell-extra cellular matrix (ECM) contacts by endothelial cells (ECs) is crucial for the stability and integrity of a vascular network. We previously identified cingulin-like 1 (Cgnl1) in a transcriptomic screen for new angiogenic modulators. Here we aim to study the function of the cell-cell junction associated protein Cgnl1 during vessel formation.Unlike family member cingulin, Cgnl1 expression is enriched in ECs during vascular growth. Cgnl1 is important for the formation of multicellular tubule structures, as shown in vitro using loss-of function assays in a 3D matrix co-culture system that uses primary human ECs and supporting mural cells. Further studies revealed that Cgnl1 regulates vascular growth by promoting Ve-cadherin association with the actin cytoskeleton, thereby stabilizing adherens junctions. Cgnl1 also regulates focal adhesion assembly in response to ECM contact, promoting vinculin and paxillin recruitment and focal adhesion kinase signalling. In vivo, we demonstrate in a postnatal retinal vascular development model in mice that Cgnl1 function is crucial for sustaining neovascular growth and stability.Our data demonstrate a functional relevance for Cgnl1 as a defining factor in new vessel formation both in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:beta1 integrin (encoded by Itgb1) is established as a regulator of angiogenesis based upon the phenotypes of complete knockouts of beta1 heterodimer partners or ligands and upon antibody inhibition studies in mice. Its direct function in endothelial cells (ECs) in vivo has not been determined because Itgb1(-/-) embryos die before vascular development. Excision of Itgb1 from ECs and a subset of hematopoietic cells, using Tie2-Cre, resulted in abnormal vascular development by embryonic day (e) 8.5 and lethality by e10.5. Tie1-Cre mediated a more restricted excision of Itgb1 from ECs and hematopoietic cells and resulted in embryonic lethal vascular defects by e11.5. Capillaries of the yolk sacs were disorganized, and the endothelium of major blood vessels and of the heart was frequently discontinuous in mutant embryos. We also found similar vascular morphogenesis defects characterized by EC disorganization in embryonic explants and isolated ECs. Itgb1-null ECs were deficient in adhesion and migration in a ligand-specific fashion, with impaired responses to laminin and collagens, but not to fibronectin. Deletion of Itgb1 reduced EC survival, but did not affect proliferation. Our findings demonstrate that beta1 integrin is essential for EC adhesion, migration and survival during angiogenesis, and further validate that therapies targeting beta1 integrins may effectively impair neovascularization.
Project description:Angiogenesis, the outgrowth of blood vessels, is crucial in development, disease and regeneration. Studying angiogenesis in vitro remains challenging because the capillary morphogenesis of endothelial cells (ECs) is controlled by multiple exogenous signals. Therefore, a set of in situ-forming starPEG-heparin hydrogels was used to identify matrix parameters and cellular interactions that best support EC morphogenesis. We showed that a particular type of soft, matrix metalloproteinase-degradable hydrogel containing covalently bound integrin ligands and reversibly conjugated pro-angiogenic growth factors could boost the development of highly branched, interconnected, and lumenized endothelial capillary networks. Using these effective matrix conditions, 3D heterocellular interactions of ECs with different mural cells were demonstrated that enabled EC network modulation and maintenance of stable vascular capillaries over periods of about one month in vitro. The approach was also shown to permit in vitro tumor vascularization experiments with unprecedented levels of control over both ECs and tumor cells. In total, the introduced 3D hydrogel co-culture system could offer unique options for dissecting and adjusting biochemical, biophysical, and cell-cell triggers in tissue-related vascularization models.