Author(s): Minhas N, Xue M, Fukudome K, Jackson CJ
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Abstract Activated protein C (APC) is an anticoagulant, approved as a treatment for severe sepsis, that can prevent apoptosis, inflammation, and vascular leakage. The aim of this study was to investigate whether APC protects endothelial barrier function through the angiopoietin (Ang)/Tie2 axis. APC significantly up-regulated gene and protein expression of Tie2 and Ang1 in a dose (0.01-10 microg/ml)- and time (0.5-24 h)-dependent manner in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Interestingly, it markedly inhibited Ang2 with an IC(50) of approximately 0.1 microg/ml. HUVEC permeability, measured using Evans blue dye transfer, was significantly reduced in the presence of APC, and, in concordance, the tight junction associated protein zona occludens (ZO)-1 was up-regulated and localized peripherally around cells, compared with controls. Smooth muscle cell migration toward APC-stimulated HUVECs was elevated compared with unstimulated cells. Blocking antibodies and small interfering (si) RNA treatment, compared with isotype (IgG) or scrambled siRNA controls, showed that APC requires 3 receptors, the endothelial protein C receptor, protease-activated receptor 1, and Tie2 to perform all these barrier stabilization functions. In summary, this study demonstrates that APC has novel effects on the Ang/Tie2 axis, which enhance endothelial barrier function and are likely to contribute to its therapeutic effect in sepsis and other diseases associated with vascular leakage.-Minhas, N., Xue, M., Fukudome, K., Jackson, C. J. Activated protein C utilizes the angiopoietin/Tie2 axis to promote endothelial barrier function.
This article was published in FASEB J
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine