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      Quantitative Assessment of Angiogenesis in Murine Antigen-Induced Arthritis by Intravital Fluorescence Microscopy

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          Inhibition of angiogenesis might be a therapeutic approach to prevent joint destruction caused by the overgrowing synovial tissue during chronic joint inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate angiogenesis in the knee joint of mice with antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) by means of intravital microscopy. In 14 mice (C57BL6/129Sv) intravital microscopic assessment was performed on day 8 after AIA induction in two groups (controls, AIA). Synovial tissue was investigated by intravital fluorescence microscopy using FITC-dextran (150 kD). Quantitative assessment of vessel density was performed according to the following categories: functional capillary density (FCD, vessels <10 µm in diameter), functional vessel density (FVD, vessels >10 µm) and FVD of vessels with angiogenic criteria (convoluted vessels, abrupt changes of diameter, vessels which are generated by sprouting and progressively pruned and remodelled). Microvessel count was performed using immunohistochemistry. There was no significant difference in FCD between the control group (337 ± 9 cm/cm<sup>2</sup>; mean ± SEM) and the AIA group (359 ± 13 cm/cm<sup>2</sup>). The density of vessels larger than 10 µm diameter was significantly increased in animals with AIA (135 ± 10 vs. 61 ± 5 cm/cm<sup>2</sup> in control). The density of blood vessels with angiogenic criteria was enhanced in arthritic animals (79 ± 17 vs. 12 ± 2 cm/cm<sup>2</sup> in control). There was a significant increase in the microvessel count in arthritic animals (297 ± 25 vs. 133 ± 16 mm<sup>–2</sup> in control). These findings demonstrate that angiogenesis in murine AIA can be assessed quantitatively using intravital microscopy. Further studies will address antiangiogenic strategies in AIA.

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          Angiogenesis mediated by soluble forms of E-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.

          Endothelial adhesion molecules facilitate the entry of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. This in turn promotes neovascularization, a process central to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, tumor growth and wound repair. Here we test the hypothesis that soluble endothelial adhesion molecules promote angiogenesis. Human recombinant soluble E-selectin and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 induced chemotaxis of human endothelial cells in vitro and were angiogenic in rat cornea. Soluble E-selectin acted on endothelial cells in part through a sialyl Lewis-X-dependent mechanism, while soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 acted on endothelial cells in part through a very late antigen (VLA)-4 dependent mechanism. The chemotactic activity of rheumatoid synovial fluid for endothelial cells, and also its angiogenic activity, were blocked by antibodies to either soluble E-selectin or soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. These results suggest a novel function for soluble endothelial adhesion molecules as mediators of angiogenesis.
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            Expression of adhesion molecules in early rheumatoid synovial tissue.

            The objective of this paper is to define the expression of adhesion molecules in synovial tissue (ST) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with respect to disease duration. Antibodies against adhesion molecules were used for immunohistochemistry to examine ST sections from 11 patients with early RA ( 5 years), and 15 patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Increased cellular infiltration and increased expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, PECAM-1, VLA-4, and Mac-1 were found in ST from patients with RA compared to ST from patients with OA. The immunohistological findings were similar for the different stages of RA. The upregulation of adhesion molecules in ST of patients with RA of < 1 year's duration suggests the activation of chronic inflammatory processes in these patients. Therefore, the mechanisms by which therapies directed toward these adhesion molecules exert their effects are likely to be similar for patients with so-called early RA and patients with long-standing RA.
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              Angiogenesis inhibition suppresses collagen arthritis

              Neovascularization is observed in a spectrum of diseases such as solid tumors, diabetic retinopathy, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also evident in rat collage-induced arthritis (CIA), an animal model with histologic, clinical, and radiographic manifestations resembling rheumatoid arthritis. To evaluate the effects of angioinhibition in CIA, Louvain rats were immunized with type II collagen to induce arthritis and then administered an angiogenesis inhibitor, AGM-1470, in an attempt to either prevent arthritis or suppress established disease. Using clinical and radiographic criteria, AGM-1470 prevented CIA and significantly suppressed established disease without evidence of immunosuppression. Histologic sections from control ankle joints manifested pannus and neovascularization, which were absent in experimental animals. This is the first study to investigate this novel agent in an autoimmune disease, and additional evaluation of this promising compound in other diseases that are potentially angiogenesis dependent, such as rheumatoid arthritis, might be warranted.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                October 2003
                03 October 2003
                : 40
                : 5
                : 460-466
                aDepartment of Orthopedics and bInstitute for Surgical Research, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Munich, Germany
                74295 J Vasc Res 2003;40:460–466
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 34, Pages: 7
                Technical Report


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