Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.470, No.4, 967-974, 2016
Placental growth factor enhances angiogenesis in human intestinal microvascular endothelial cells via PI3K/Akt pathway: Potential implications of inflammation bowel disease
Background: Angiogenesis plays a major role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a specific regulator of pathological angiogenesis and is upregulated in the sera of IBD patients. Therefore, the role of PlGF in IBD angiogenesis was investigated here using HIMECs. Methods: The expression of PlGF and its receptors in human intestinal microvascular endothelial cells (HIMECs) and inflamed mucosa of IBD patients were examined using quantitative PCR and western blot analysis and the role of PIGF in IBD HIMECs was further explored using small interfering RNA (siRNA). The induction of pro-inflammatory cytokine by PlGF in HIMECs was confirmed by ELISA. The capacity of PlGF to induce angiogenesis in HIMECs was tested through proliferation, cell-migration, matrigel tubule formation assays and its underlying signaling pathway were explored by western blot analysis of ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt phosphorylation. Results: mRNA and protein expression of PIGF and its receptor NRP-1 were significantly increased in IBD HIMECs. Inflamed mucosa of IBD patients also displayed higher expression of PIGF. The production of IL-6 and TNF-alpha in culture supernatant of HIMECs treated with exogenous recombinant human PlGF-1 (rhPlGF-1) were increased. Furthermore, rhPlGF-1 significantly induced HIMECs migration and tube formation in a dose-dependent manner and knockdown of endogenous PlGF in IBD HIMECs using siRNA substantially reduced these angiogenesis activities. PIGF induced PI3K/Akt phosphorylation in HIMECs and pretreatment of PlGF-stimulated HIMECs with PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) significantly inhibited the PlGF-induced cell migration and tube formation. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated the pro-inflammatory and angiogenic effects of PIGF on HIMECs in IBD through activation of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. PlGF/PI3K/Akt signaling may serve as a potential therapeutic target for IBD. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.