Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.394, No.4, 976-980, 2010
Hypoxia-induced Bcl-2 expression in endothelial cells via p38 MAPK pathway
Angiogenesis and apoptosis are reciprocal processes in endothelial cells. Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic protein, has been found to have angiogenic activities. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of Bcl-2 in hypoxia-induced angiogenesis in endothelial cells and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) were exposed to hypoxia followed by reoxygenation. Myocardial ischemia and reperfusion mouse model was used and Bcl-2 expression was assessed. Bcl-2 expression increased in a time-dependent manner in response to hypoxia from 2 to 72 h. Peak expression occurred at 12 h (3- to 4-fold, p < 0.05). p38 inhibitor (SB203580) blocked hypoxia-induced Bcl-2 expression, whereas PKC, ERK1/2 and PI3K inhibitors did not. Knockdown of Bcl-2 resulted in decreased HAECs' proliferation and migration. Over-expression of Bcl-2 increased HAECs' tubule formation, whereas knockdown of Bcl-2 inhibited this process. In this model of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, Bcl-2 expression was increased and was associated with increased p38 MAPK activation. Our results showed that hypoxia induces Bcl-2 expression in HAECs via p38 MAPK pathway. Published by Elsevier Inc.