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Qin, Di; Trenkwalder, Teresa; Lee, Seungmin; Chillo, Omary; Deindl, Elisabeth; Kupatt, Christian and Hinkel, Rabea (2013): Early vessel destabilization mediated by Angiopoietin-2 and subsequent vessel maturation via Angiopoietin-1 induce functional neovasculature after ischemia.
In: PLOS ONE 8(4), e61831 [PDF, 2MB]

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We assessed whether Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), a Tie2 ligand and partial antagonist of Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1), is required for early vessel destabilization during postischemic angiogenesis, when combined with vascular growth factors. In vitro, matrigel co-cultures assessed endothelial-cell tube formation and pericyte recruitment after stimulation of VEGF-A, Apelin (APLN), Ang1 with or without Ang2. In a murine hindlimb ischemia model, adeno-associated virus (rAAV, 3×10(12) virusparticles) transduction of VEGF-A, APLN and Ang1 with or without Ang2 (continuous or early expression d0-3) was performed intramuscularly (d-14). Femoral artery ligation was performed at d0, followed by laser doppler perfusion meassurements (LDI) 7 and 14. At d7 (early timepoint) and d14 (late timepoint), histological analysis of capillary/muscle fiber ratio (CMF-R, PECAM-1) and pericyte/capillary ratio (PC-R, NG2) was performed. In vitro, VEGF-A, APLN and Ang1 induced ring formation, but only APLN and Ang1 recruited pericytes. Ang2 did not affect tube formation by APLN, but reduced pericyte recruitment after APLN or Ang1 overexpression. In vivo, rAAV.VEGF-A did not alter LDI-perfusion at d14, consistent with an impaired PC-R despite a rise in CMF-R. rAAV.APLN improved perfusion at d14, with or without continuous Ang2, increasing CMF-R and PC-R. rAAV.Ang1 improved perfusion at d14, when combined with rAAV.Ang2 (d0-3), accompanied by an increased CMF-R and PC-R. The combination of early vessel destabilization (Ang2 d0-3) and continuous Ang1 overexpression improves hindlimb perfusion, pointing to the importance of early vessel destabilization and subsequent vessel maturation for enhanced therapeutic neovascularization.

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