Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.403, No.1, 59-65, 2010
Angiogenic role of orexin-A via the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in endothelial cells
Orexin-A, a neuropeptide originally discovered in the hypothalamus, is found in peripheral organs, as well as in the central nervous system, and is involved in the regulation of food intake, energy homeostasis, and cardiovascular functions. In this study, we report that orexin-A induces in vivo neovascularization in a mouse Matrigel plug and ex vivo sprouting of endothelial cells in rat aortic rings. We also show that orexin-A increases migration and tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and this effect is mediated by orexin receptors on endothelial cells. Moreover, orexin-A activates the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in HUVECs, which is closely linked to angiogenic responses. The inhibition of ERK activation significantly suppresses orexin-A-stimulated endothelial angiogenesis. Taken together, our results indicate that orexin-A functions as a new proangiogenic peptide and requires MEK/ERK-dependent pathway for its angiogenic actions. These results suggest orexin-A and its receptor may act as important modulators of angiogenesis under pathophysiological conditions. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.