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      Mechanism of VEGF-Induced Uterine Venous Hyperpermeability

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          Abstract

          Background: Transfer of molecular signals from veins to adjacent arteries is an established mechanism of vascular communication in the uterine circulation, which ultimately depends on venous permeability. This study tests the hypotheses that: (1) uterine veins are permeable to intravenous solutes, using a 3-kDa dextran tracer and (2) this permeability is enhanced in response to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Additionally, the involvement of nitric oxide (NO), calcium, and the phospholipase C-protein kinase C (PLC-PKC) cascade in VEGF-enhanced permeability were investigated, and the impact of pregnancy-induced uterine vascular remodeling on permeability was evaluated. Methods: Studies utilized fluorimetry to quantitate solute flux in isolated segments of rat uterine vein as a function of endothelial surface area and time under basal and VEGF-stimulated conditions. VEGF signaling was probed using NO synthase inhibition (L-NNA), calcium channel blockade (lanthanum chloride) and withdrawal (calcium-free solution), and inhibitors of the PLC-PKC cascade (U-73122 and chelerythrine chloride, respectively). Gestational effects were assessed using vessels from late pregnant (day 20) rats. Results: Basal flux (control) in nonpregnant animals was 26 ± 2.5 molecules/µm²/min × 1,000 and was increased significantly by VEGF in a concentration-dependent manner (1 n M ≈ 3.3-fold, 10 n M ≈ 4.6-fold). Inhibition of PLC, PKC, and calcium signaling, but not NO, attenuated the response to VEGF. Gestation significantly increased flux (78 ± 9.3 molecules/µm²/min × 1,000), and maintained responsiveness to VEGF. Conclusions: These results demonstrate uterine venous permeability to intermediate-sized solutes through a VEGF-sensitive pathway involving calcium and PLC-PKC, but not NO, and further substantiate a role for veno-arterial communication in uterine blood flow regulation during pregnancy.

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          Predominant role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis and vascular permeability.

          Nitric oxide (NO) plays a critical role in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis and vascular hyperpermeability. However, the relative contribution of different NO synthase (NOS) isoforms to these processes is not known. Here, we evaluated the relative contributions of endothelial and inducible NOS (eNOS and iNOS, respectively) to angiogenesis and permeability of VEGF-induced angiogenic vessels. The contribution of eNOS was assessed by using an eNOS-deficient mouse, and iNOS contribution was assessed by using a selective inhibitor [l-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl) lysine, l-NIL] and an iNOS-deficient mouse. Angiogenesis was induced by VEGF in type I collagen gels placed in the mouse cranial window. Angiogenesis, vessel diameter, blood flow rate, and vascular permeability were proportional to NO levels measured with microelectrodes: Wild-type (WT) > or = WT with l-NIL or iNOS(-/-) > eNOS(-/-) > or = eNOS(-/-) with l-NIL. The role of NOS in VEGF-induced acute vascular permeability increase in quiescent vessels also was determined by using eNOS- and iNOS-deficient mice. VEGF superfusion significantly increased permeability in both WT and iNOS(-/-) mice but not in eNOS(-/-) mice. These findings suggest that eNOS plays a predominant role in VEGF-induced angiogenesis and vascular permeability. Thus, selective modulation of eNOS activity is a promising strategy for altering angiogenesis and vascular permeability in vivo.
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            Regulation of endothelial cell gap formation and barrier dysfunction: role of myosin light chain phosphorylation.

            Endothelial cell (EC) contraction results in intercellular gap formation and loss of the selective vascular barrier to circulating macromolecules. We tested the hypothesis that phosphorylation of regulatory myosin light chains (MLC) by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) is critical to EC barrier dysfunction elicited by thrombin. Thrombin stimulated a rapid (< 15 sec) increase in [Ca2+]i which preceded maximal MLC phosphorylation (60 sec) with a 6 to 8-fold increase above constitutive levels of phosphorylated MLC. Dramatic cellular shape changes indicative of contraction and gap formation were observed at 5 min with maximal increases in albumin permeability occurring by 10 min. Neither the Ca2+ ionophore, A23187, nor phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), a direct activator of protein kinase C (PKC), alone or in combination, produced MLC phosphorylation. The combination was synergistic, however, in stimulating EC contraction/gap formation and barrier dysfunction (3 to 4-fold increase). Down-regulation or inhibition of PKC activity attenuated thrombin-induced MLC phosphorylation (approximately 40% inhibition) and both thrombin- and PMA-induced albumin clearance (approximately 50% inhibition). Agents which augmented [cAMP]i partially blocked thrombin-induced MLC phosphorylation (approximately 50%) and completely inhibited both thrombin- and PMA-induced EC permeability (100% inhibition). Furthermore, cAMP produced significant reduction in the basal levels of constitutive MLC phosphorylation. Finally, MLCK inhibition (with either ML-7 or KT 5926) or Ca2+/calmodulin antagonism (with either trifluoperazine or W-7) attenuated thrombin-induced MLC phosphorylation and barrier dysfunction. These results suggest a model wherein EC contractile events, gap formation and barrier dysfunction occur via MLCK-dependent and independent mechanisms and are significantly modulated by both PKC and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A activities.
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              Regulation of microvascular permeability by vascular endothelial growth factors.

              Generation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature (angiogenesis) is accompanied in almost all states by increased vascular permeability. This is true in physiological as well as pathological angiogenesis, but is more marked during disease states. Physiological angiogenesis occurs during tissue growth and repair in adult tissues, as well as during development. Pathological angiogenesis is seen in a wide variety of diseases, which include all the major causes of mortality in the west: heart disease, cancer, stroke, vascular disease and diabetes. Angiogenesis is regulated by vascular growth factors, particularly the vascular endothelial growth factor family of proteins (VEGF). These act on two specific receptors in the vascular system (VEGF-R1 and 2) to stimulate new vessel growth. VEGFs also directly stimulate increased vascular permeability to water and large-molecular-weight proteins. We have shown that VEGFs increase vascular permeability in mesenteric microvessels by stimulation of tyrosine auto-phosphorylation of VEGF-R2 on endothelial cells, and subsequent activation of phospholipase C (PLC). This in turn causes increased production of diacylglycerol (DAG) that results in influx of calcium across the plasma membrane through store-independent cation channels. We have proposed that this influx is through DAG-mediated TRP channels. It is not known how this results in increased vascular permeability in endothelial cells in vivo. It has been shown, however, that VEGF can stimulate formation of a variety of pathways through the endothelial cell, including transcellular gaps, vesiculovacuolar organelle formation, and fenestrations. A hypothesis is outlined that suggests that these all may be part of the same process.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                2005
                February 2005
                28 January 2005
                : 42
                : 1
                : 47-54
                Affiliations
                The University of Vermont College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Burlington, Vt., USA
                Article
                82976 J Vasc Res 2005;42:47–54
                10.1159/000082976
                15637440
                520f64b3-81a0-4738-b93c-8560ed308036
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                History
                : 16 June 2004
                : 22 October 2004
                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 42, Pages: 8
                Categories
                Research Paper

                General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology
                Pregnancy,Venous permeability,Veno-arterial communication,Vascular endothelial growth factor,Rat,Phospholipase C,Protein kinase C,Calcium

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